Home / Science / Health /  Will Swasth Bharat Yojana help revive our creaky health infra?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, also known as Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PMASBY), that aims to strengthen India’s critical healthcare network. Mint explores:

What is the new PMASBY scheme?

The scheme aims to beef up health systems and institutions at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels, and prepare them to respond effectively to pandemics and disasters. The scheme comes with an outlay of about 64,180 crore over six years. This will be in addition to the National Health Mission. The government says health infrastructure India did not get ample attention as people, especially in the rural areas, have to run from pillar to post to access healthcare services, which worsens their condition and puts financial strain on patients. Modi said the new scheme aims to tackle this deficiency.

Did covid-19 revive health investments?

With covid-19 exposing gaps in India’s healthcare system, the Centre considered more schemes towards healthcare and started investing in the sector. Increased investments will support research on infectious diseases, including research to generate evidence to inform short-term and medium-term response to pandemics and develop core capacity to deliver the One Health Approach to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks in humans and animals. The National Health Policy aims to raise public health expenditure from the existing 1.15% to 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025 in a time-bound manner.

How bad is India’s healthcare infrastructure?

Despite nominal hikes in health expenditure, India’s health statistics remain deplorable. According to government data, India has 1.4 beds per 1,000 people, 1 doctor per 1,445 people, and 1.7 nurses per 1,000 people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India ranks 184 out of 191 countries in health spending.

How much does India spend on health?

According to 2020 Index report by Oxfam India, Nigeria and Bahrain secured the lowest ranks in health spending index. India was at the 155th position, sharing the position with Afghanistan, with both countries allocating less than 4% of their budget on health. The report also found that Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh spent more than India on health. “India’s health budget is the fourth lowest in the world. Just half of its population has access to even the most essential health services," the report had said.

How will PMASBY help bridge the gap?

There are three major aspects of PMASBY. First is creation of facilities for diagnostics and treatment, under which the health and wellness centres are being opened  in  villages and cities.  There will be facilities for early detection of diseases. Second, the testing network for the diagnosis of diseases will be boosted. About 730 districts of the country will get Integrated Public Health labs, for instance. The third aspect is the expansion and strengthening of existing research institutions that study pandemics.


Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less

Recommended For You

Trending Stocks

Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout