Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his Budget speech today, announced the launch of the world’s largest health protection programme that will cover 10 crore families.
The government’s flagship National Health Protection scheme is intended to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families and 50 crore beneficiaries.
This means that nearly 40 per cent of the country’s population would benefit from this scheme.
Each family covered under the new National Health Protection Scheme would be entitled to get medical reimbursement for treatment at hospitals up to a maximum of Rs. 5 lakh every year.
Mr. Jaitley had announced the scheme in his 2016 Budget speech and was subsequently reiterated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech that year.
The proposal is lying with the Union Cabinet since November 2016.
Mr Jaitley said the government had been “seriously concerned about impoverishment of people due to hospitalization” and wanted to address this problem.
The Economic Survey had flagged the heavy cost that treatment at private hospitals had imposed on people two years ago, underlining that the average cost of treatment in private hospitals was about four times than that of public healthcare facilities.
Citing a national survey report, the Economic Survey had pointed that people had to spend an average Rs. 26,000 for treatment per hospitalised case in private facilities.