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The Government is looking at taking district hospitals to the level of medical colleges, a move that will help address the issue of shortage of doctors, especially in rural areas, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Tuesday.
Besides, he said, India needs a very good primary healthcare system and about 1.5 lakh such centres are being set up across the country to address the issue.
Kant said the country has a huge shortage of doctors across rural areas for which the Government is considering taking the district hospitals to the level of medical colleges.
“We are brining in institutional changes to the Medical Council of India so that we can have a vast number of doctors in the country. In the entire rural sector there is a major shortage of doctors, so we are pushing for that,” he added.
In the Union Budget 2018-19, the Government has focused on two things–one that there has to be a very good primary healthcare, for which 1.5 lakh primary healthcare (centres) are being set up across the country, he said.
“Secondly, we are rolling out a major initiative as the budget has announced on the healthcare side that will provide support to 10 crore families – almost 50 crore people for an insurance amount up to Rs 5 lakh,” Kant said talking about the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS).
Proposed in the Budget, presented to Parliament this month, NHPS aims to cover about 40 per cent of the country’s population.
Speaking at the launch of a product of Max Bupa Health Insurance here, Kant said a lot of homework has already been done on this front to roll-out this service.
Talking about the ‘GoActive’ plan unveiled by Max Bupa Health Insurance, he said it is the need of the hour in India for healthcare policies as out of pocket expenses for medical care are very-very high.
Max Bupa said GoActive is a one-stop solution that will take care of the daily healthcare needs of the customers with its inpatient hospitalisation, on-the-go access to OPD, diagnostics, personalised health coaching, second medical opinion and behavioural counselling among others.
The company has tied up with three health-tech providers GOQii, Practo and 1mg to bring this policy on the digital platform.
“Over 60 per cent of healthcare expenses in the country are still out of pocket and self-funded by customers. Our aim with the GoActive health insurance plan is to bridge the gap and bring more people into the ambit of health insurance,” said Ashish Mehrotra, MD & CEO, Max Bupa. Ace tennis star Sania Mirza, the company’s first policyholder of this product, was also present.
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