Finance Minister in his budget speech announced world largest government funded healthcare scheme – National Health Protection scheme (NHPS)

He said “India cannot realize it demographic dividend without its citizens being healthy. I am pleased to announce two major initiatives as a part of the Ayushman Bharat Programme, aimed at path breaking interventions to address the healthcare holistically. In primary, secondary and tertiary care systems covering both prevention and health promotion. The National Health Policy 2017 has envisioned that health and Wellness centres as the foundation of India’s health system. These 1.5 lakh centres will bring healthcare system closer to the homes of the people. these centres will provide a comprehensive healthcare including a non communicable diseases and maternal and child services. These centres will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. I am committing Rs. 1200 crores in this budget for this flagship programme. I am also inviting contribution from the private sector through the CSR and the philanthropic institutions in adopting these centres. Madam Speaker we are all aware that lakhs of families in our country have to borrow or sell assets to recieve indoor treatment in hospitals, government is seriously concerned about the impoverishment of the poor and the vulnerable families. Presently the Rashtriya Swasth Bima Yojana (RSBY) provides an annual coverage of only Rs. 30000 to poor families, several state governments have also implemented and supplemented health protection schemes by providing various coverage, my government has now decided to take healthcare protection to a new aspiration level. We are now launching a flagship National Health Protection Scheme to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families. This is approximately 50 crore beneficiaries, by providing them upto Rs. 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care. This will be world’s largest Healthcare Programme. Adequate funds will be provided for smooth implementation of this programme”

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