Dinesh Arora, director (health) at Niti Aayog, was on 13 February appointed director of the prime minister’s flagship healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat.
- The National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) envisages a Rs 5 lakh floating cover for nearly 100 million families or 500 million citizens.
- Dinesh Arora is a qualified doctor and has worked in public health in the past, heading the National Rural Health Mission in Kerala from May 2006 to September 2009.
- He was appointed member of NITI Aayog in July 2017.
About the Health Scheme
- The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitely while presenting the General Budget 2018-19 in Parliament on 1 February, 2018 had announced two major initiatives in health sector , as part of Ayushman Bharat programme. It was aimed at making path breaking interventions to address health holistically, in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both prevention and health promotion.
The initiatives are as follows:-
- Health and Wellness Centre:– The National Health Policy, 2017 has envisioned Health and Wellness Centres as the foundation of India’s health system. Under this 1.5 lakh centres will bring health care system closer to the homes of people. These centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services. These centres will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. The Budget has allocated Rs.1200 crore for this flagship programme. Contribution of private sector through CSR and philanthropic institutions in adopting these centres is also envisaged.
- National Health Protection Scheme:- The second flagship programme under ‘Ayushman Bharat ‘is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. This will be the world’s largest government funded health care programme. Adequate funds will be provided for smooth implementation of this programme.