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Source: The post is based on the article “Express View on Ayushman Bharat: A health warning” published in The Indian express on 21st July 2023.
Syllabus: GS 2 – Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.
News: The author discusses the achievements and shortcomings of India’s Ayushman Bharat healthcare scheme. It highlights a fraud case at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi where a doctor deceived critically-ill patients, suggesting the need for better patient awareness and a more compassionate approach.
What is Ayushman Bharat healthcare scheme?
Read here: Ayushman Bharat programme
What are the achievements of India’s Ayushman Bharat healthcare scheme?
Impact: Over 5 crore hospitalizations since its inception.
Financial Relief: Decreased out-of-pocket health expenses from 62% in 2015 to 47% in 2020.
Digital Tools: Health ministry employed AI to detect impersonation and false claims.
Benefit Outreach: Provides a solution for financially stressed families and medical migrants.
What are the shortcomings of India’s Ayushman Bharat healthcare scheme?
Fraud Cases: A neurosurgeon at Safdarjung Hospital deceived critically-ill patients. Like, families of the ill are misled into choosing costlier treatments over scheme benefits.
Delayed Benefits: Some doctors mislead patients, saying scheme benefits take months.
Lack of Awareness: Patients need better understanding of scheme benefits.
Trust Issues: Some view hospitals as intimidating, especially during financial stress.
What should be done?
Strict Oversight: Address frauds, like the Safdarjung Hospital incident, through robust monitoring.
Transparent Communication: Ensure doctors provide clear information about ailments and treatments.
Digital Aids: Continue using AI and other tools to detect impersonation and false claims.
Patient-Centric Approach: Make the system more patient-friendly to counteract fear and distrust.