The Government is considering to roll out a National Health Assurance Mission to reduce the out of pocket spending on health care by the common man. A Group has been constituted for preparing a comprehensive background paper for this purpose.
Public Health being a State subject, the Central Government has been supplementing the efforts of the States/UTs under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to provide accessible, affordable and quality healthcare to the rural population. In 2013, the National Health Mission (NHM) was approved subsuming NRHM and the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) as its Sub-Missions with the vision of attainment of universal access to equitable, affordable and quality health care services to all the population. Under NHM, financial support is being provided to States/UTs for strengthening their health care systems including support for provision of the following services free of cost to all those who access these services in public health facilities:
(i) Universal Immunization of children against 7 diseases,
(ii) Pulse Polio Immunization
(iii) Family Planning services,
(iv) Maternal and Reproductive Health Services
(v) Child Health services that include both Home Based and facility based New born Care,
(vi) Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH) services,
(vii) Investigation and treatment for Malaria, Kalaazar, Filaria, Dengue, JE and Chikungunya,
(viii) Detection and treatment for Tuberculosis including MDR-TB,
(ix) Detection and treatment for Leprosy,
(x) Detection, treatment and counseling for HIV/AIDs.
(xi) Non-Communicable diseases services
(xii) Cataract surgery for Blindness control- over 6 million free cataract surgeries done every year, Cornea transplant, Glaucoma/ Diabetic Retinopathy, Spectacles to poor children.
In addition, some of the major national level initiatives for which support is being provided to States/UTs are as under:
(i) Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK): Under this every pregnant woman is entitled to free delivery, including caesarean section, in public health institutions. The entitlements include free drugs and consumables, free diagnostics, free diet, free blood wherever required, free transport from home to institution, between facilities in case of a referral and drop back home. Similar entitlements are in place for sick infants up to one year of age and cases of antenatal and post natal complications as well.
(ii) Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK: Under this, support is being provided to States/UTs for Child Health Screening and Early Intervention Services through early detection and early management of common health conditions classified into 4 Ds i.e Defects at birth, Diseases, Deficiencies, Development delays including disability. Treatment including surgeries at tertiary level is free of cost under this initiative.
(iii) The Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK): This initiative goes beyond addressing sexual and reproductive health and introduces focus on nutrition, sexual & reproductive health, injuries and violence (including gender based violence), non-communicable diseases, mental health and substance misuse.
(iv) National Ambulance Services (NAS): Support under NHM is provided to States for patient transport particularly the pregnant women (for delivery), sick infants and patients needing trauma care.
(v) NHM is also providing funding to States/UTs to provide free essential drugs and free essential diagnostics in public health facilities under the NHM – Free Drugs Service and NHM – Free Diagnostic Service Initiatives respectively.
The Health Minister stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha here today.