The NITI Aayog has proposed the formation of a National Health Authority to administer the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)
- The National Health Authority has been envisioned as an autonomous body with statutory backing
- The NHA will have full say over the package rates and the mandate to negotiate with the private sector for the strategic purchasing of services.
- The NHA will also have penal powers and can issue orders to its state counterparts rather than the advisory role currently played by National Health Agency. Further, penal powers will help NHA to effectively act against errant hospitals
- Rationale behind formation of National Health Authority:
- Given that the PMJAY currently caters to 50 crore people, there are apprehensions that with government buying services for one section of the population, health expenses for the other 80 crores could get artificially inflated.
- Therefore, an independent authority for PMJAY is essential so that medical services do not become expensive for the larger section of the Indian population.
- It is a part of the Ayushmaan Bharat Programme. The scheme entitles 10.74 crore families to an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh.
- PMJAY is currently administered by the National Health Agency which is a registered society under the Health Ministry