On Sunday, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) raised questions over central governments Ayushman Bharat Scheme claiming that there are several "loopholes" in it which includes the eligibility criteria, package rates, number of disciplines and also the involvement of insurance companies.
IMA President Santanu Sen said while addressing the media that government should take suggestions from real practicing doctors for getting the actual idea before setting up rates. He mentioned that the eligibility criteria should be based on the "income of the beneficiaries."There should be no insurance model and before setting up the package rates or making decisions on a number of disciplines, an organization like IMA must be taken into confidence. Sen also said that if adding IMA onboard, then this project can become successful, or else in future it might become a "big flop".
60 per cent or above patients of India get their treatment done at small to medium scale hospitals, private nursing homes even today. If they are not empanelled, they won’t haveanother way, but to shut down which will indirectly lead to the corporatization of health service.
Sen had questioning various policies in the scheme such as were all the states brought into the loop? Were their suggestions duly honored? They have decided that only 24 disciplines of modern medicine will be included. Are there only 24 disciplinesin modern medicine? They have fixed up 1,393 packages. On what basis they have given the assurance that human being can suffer from only 1,393 diseases? And whose decision was taken before setting the rates of the scheme.Sen highlighted that health services should be provided in "assurance model, not insurance model."
He also mentioned that before opening 1.5 lakh wellness clinics, the government should "develop and upgrade" all the existing operating sub-centers.