NEW DELHI : NATHEALTH, a leading association of major healthcare providers, has urged the Indian government to extend the coverage of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojna (PM-JAY), to all the citizens of the country in a phased manner, initially covering the organized sector.
In its pre-budget recommendations to the government, NATHEALTH has also suggested introduction of a healthcare infrastructure upgradation fund and sought ‘National Priority’ status for the healthcare sector.
Siddhartha Bhattacharya, Secretary General, NATHEALTH, has said, “While the Government has taken laudable steps to introduce the health insurance scheme for weaker sections with PM-JAY, it is requested that the Government could also explore making health insurance coverage mandatory for all citizens.”
He said, “Starting with the organized sector, employees could be given the option of either paying their ESI contribution or purchasing insurance from any IRDA regulated insurance company. Scaling up PM-JAY to all citizens, including the middle and upper middle class, needs to be done in the next phase.”
NATHEALTH stated that adequate funding of healthcare is a major concern, hence a priority sector status would push financing and funding to the sector.
This will channelize funds from the banking sector to create necessary healthcare infrastructure and meet societal objectives of the Union Government, it said.