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Lok Sabha 2024: Post exit poll predictions, healthcare sector expects bigger push in Modi 3.0
Image credit: Darko Stojanovic from Pixabay

Lok Sabha 2024: Post exit poll predictions, healthcare sector expects bigger push in Modi 3.0

| @indiablooms | 02 Jun 2024, 09:14 pm

New Delhi: After the seventh and final phase of voting in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, exit polls have forecasted a third term for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

This expected victory is likely to influence healthcare policies and the areas where the Narendra Modi government has launched various initiatives since 2014, according to a Business Today report.

Since taking office, the Modi government has introduced several crucial healthcare initiatives, including the flagship health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat Yojana and the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana.

Ayushman Bharat provides health insurance coverage to over 500 million Indians, while Janaushadhi Pariyojana offers generic medicines at affordable prices.

The BJP's 2024 manifesto, titled "Modi ki Guarantee," includes several key promises, particularly focusing on the pharmaceutical industry and other critical areas.

Healthcare and medicine commitments include continuing the free ration scheme for the poor, expanding the network of Jan Aushadhi Kendras, and extending the coverage of Ayushman Bharat Yojana to include senior citizens above 75 years of age and the transgender community.

"Addressing the shortage of healthcare professionals could involve increasing the number of medical college seats and implementing measures to upskill the existing healthcare workforce, thereby addressing the critical shortage of trained professionals in the country. Additionally, specific health priorities such as communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, and maternal health are likely to be outlined, with strategies proposed to tackle these issues effectively,"  Economics Professor Arup Mitra at the South Asian University (SAU), New Delhi, was quoted as saying by Business Today.

The Ayushman Bharat scheme has accumulated considerable praise for facilitating access to medical services for millions of Indians but its limited coverage and delay in payment to hospitals has been criticised.

Industry experts anticipate the upcoming government to resolve these problems.

“The private sector cannot replace the public sector. Policymakers understand this, but it is crucial for them to realise that every programme must be sustainable. Currently, the pricing for both Ayushman Bharat and the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) needs adjustments. CGHS prices are slightly better than Ayushman Bharat, but both require revisions. Inflation occurs annually, and not revising prices for 10-14 years is unfair. The government must address this and improve transparency in payment mechanisms,” said Ashutosh Raghuvanshi CEO of Fortis Healthcare, according to Business Today.

The Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana has improved the affordability of generic medicines, though concerns about their quality remain. The National Health Mission has achieved some success in enhancing healthcare quality, yet it continues to face challenges such as shortages of healthcare workers and infrastructure issues.

A 2020 NITI Aayog report recommended bigger investment in healthcare to attain the goal of universal health coverage, better service quality, and affordability.

The report emphasized the necessity for sweeping reforms to address the healthcare needs of India's growing population.

“The Indian government must allocate at least 2.6% of the country's GDP to healthcare in order to achieve universal healthcare. However, the Modi government has brought in good health policies, there is more to be done by the upcoming government,” said Mitra, according to the report.

The official election results will be announced on June 4.

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