Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission
Polity & Governance
2nd Nov, 2021
Prime Minister recently launched the Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, one of India's largest pan-India programs to strengthen health care infrastructure, in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi.
- Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission is one of the largest pan-India programs to strengthen health care infrastructure across the country.
- It will provide assistance to 17,788 Rural Health Centres in 10 ‘highly focused’ provinces and establish 11,024 Urban Health and Health Centres across the country.
- In this regard, critical care services will be available in all regions of the country with more than five lakh people in blocks of intensive care units, and the remaining districts will be covered with referral assistance.
- Under this program, one national health centre, four new national virology centres, the WHO (World Health Organization) South East Asia Region regional research forum, nine biosafety level-III laboratories, and five new regional disease control centres will be set.
- Free diagnostics at district level: Under PMASBY, 134 different types of testing will be done free at district level, which will not only save costs but also reduce unnecessary inconvenience to poor people.
- Mobile Hospitals: For the first time in Asia, two container-based hospitals with complete medical facilities will be maintained at all times under PMASBY. One mobile unit will have 22 containers with 100 beds each.
- The mobile hospitals will be set up in New Delhi and Chennai. These hospitals can be quickly assembled by train or air to respond to any disaster or disaster in the country.
- Strengthening NCDC: The existing National Centres for Disease Control (NCDC), which has the mandate to stop outbreaks, will be strengthened under PMASBY by adding three new phases.
- This will be the Climate Change Unit, the Occupational Health Unit, and the Disaster Management Unit. Five branches of the NCDC region - one north, south, east, west, and central - will be established. General diagnostic services will also be improved.
Key Components of the scheme
- Comprehensive surveillance of infectious diseases: Under this, health and wellness centres will be opened in towns and cities, where early diagnostic services will be provided. Free services such as free consultation, testing, and medication will be available at these facilities.
- Comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic facilities: This will include the development of diagnostic infrastructure. All 730 national districts will have access to integrated public health labs and 3,000 blocks will have access to public health facilities. In addition, five disease control centres, 20 metropolitan units, and 15 BSL labs will strengthen the network.
- Extensive epidemic research: 80 existing virus diagnostic and research laboratories will be strengthened, with the establishment of new National Virology Centres (NIVs) and the National Institute for One Health.
What are some of the planned programs to improve Indian health care?
- How to fill the space: Government also uses a 'Filling Method' with Block, District, State and National standards that are seamlessly connected to affordable and quality health care.
- Expansion of health and wellness facilities: About 150,000 health and wellness services that provide a comprehensive range of services, including telephone consultation, will be established in rural and urban areas by 2022. Each such centre will include five rural Indian villages.
- Ensuring a strong public health infrastructure in urban and rural areas, capable of dealing with public health emergencies or outbreaks.
- Establish an IT-enabled diagnostic system through a network of monitoring laboratories at block, regional, regional and national level.
- All public health labs will be connected via the Integrated Health Information Portal, which will be extended to all provinces and UTs.
- India has long needed a comprehensive health care system. A study ('State of Democracy in South Asia (SDSA) -Round 3') conducted by Lokniti-CSDS in 2019 highlighted how access to public health care remains difficult for those living on the fringes.
- The study found that 70% of sites have public health care services. However, availability was low in rural areas (65%) compared to urban areas (87%).
- Schemes such as Swachh Bharat Mission, JalJeevan Mission, Ujjwala, PoshanAbhiyan, and Mission Indradhanush have saved countless lives. More than 2 million poor people have received free treatment under Ayushman Bharat Yojana and many health related problems are being solved through Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.
Brief overview of health care infrastructure in India:
- Seventy percent of all facilities have public health care services. However, availability was low in rural areas (65 percent) compared with urban areas (87 percent).
- In 45 percent of the areas surveyed, people can access health care services on foot, and 43percent of the areas they need to use for transportation.
- The study also found that proximity to health care services was high in urban areas: 64 percent of urban enumerators found that people could access health care on foot, while only 37 percent in rural areas could.
What are the expected benefits of Health Infrastructure Mission?
- Make India's health plan ready for the future: PM ABHIM aims to produce strong Public Health outcomes, jumping India to one of the most developed countries in the world in terms of managing Public Health outbreaks.
- Various initiatives under PMASBY such as the National Platform for One Health, regional NIVs, etc., will strengthen India's ability to detect and diagnose new diseases very quickly. Entry points will be strengthened in India-ring-fence against the introduction of new infectious diseases and viruses.
- Make Ayushman Bharat the first step as an umbrella: Ayushman Bharat- Health & Wellness Centres was established in April 2018 followed by Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY in September 2018. The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission was launched earlier this year.
- The focus of the new scheme on Health Infrastructure makes the Ayushman Bharat campaign a turning point. Together they offer the following:
- Provide affordable, quality and accessible health care for all people and reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
- Provide universal access to basic diagnostic and therapeutic services, and will bring health care closer to rural and urban communities.
- It covers almost all areas of health.
- Make India self-sufficient: Set of national, regional, regional, regional and block laboratories supported by a strong I.T. The ecosystem will lead to reliance on diagnosing, preventing and preventing outbreaks.
- Make sure they do not disrupt other resources during events such as the epidemic: Many non-COVID-19 patients were denied treatment during the violence, as hospitals were overcrowded. Blocks of critical care hospitals will provide care for those with serious infectious diseases without interrupting other services. In non-epidemic cases, this capability will be used to provide critical care in other cases of disease.
How can India continuously improve health infrastructure?
- Encourage provincial participation: Like other government-funded programs, the Centre will cover 60% of the cost, while governments will have to spend the rest. Therefore, Central Government should encourage international participation in order to make this program a success.
- Increase health budget: Parliamentary Standing Committee has recommended that in order to achieve the National Health Policy targets, Government must allocate R1.6-lakh crore for public health this year. This doubles the value of the current average health budget.
- Therefore, the institution should increase government funding for health to at least 2.5% of GDP as envisaged in the National Health Policy, 2017 in order to improve health infrastructure and achieve the goals of national health policy.
- You need more health professionals: According to government data, India has 1.4 beds per 1,000 people, one doctor for 1,445 people, and 1.7 nurses for every 1,000 people. More than 30,000 MBBS seats and 24,000 medical postgraduate seats have been added since 2014. However, the construction of infrastructure must go hand in hand with additional human resources, so the government must improve the workforce needed.
- Examine private misconduct: The Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Act (CEA) was passed in 2010 to provide for the registration and regulation of all clinical facilities in the country. The law currently applies to only 11 countries throughout India. The central government will still take appropriate steps to encourage the implementation of the CEA.
- This has led to widespread misuse of private hospitals, for example, huge hospital bills during the violence. Therefore, the government must ensure the proper implementation of the Act in order to investigate the wrongdoings of private companies.
In conclusion, programs such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Fit India, Khelo India and Yoga focus on preventing health. Along with other Ayushman Bharat programs, the Health Infrastructure Mission (PMASBY) is another step towards holistic health care in India.