* All government hospitals will be automatically empanelled under the National Health Protection Mission (NHPM).
* Reimbursements they receive from the trust or insurance companies for NHPM beneficiaries will be credited to the hospital’s account and used for its own upgrade.
* A fixed amount — about 15 per cent — will be distributed among doctors and staff of the hospital.
Following discussions with states, the Union health ministry has finalised this format for government hospitals, with the dual goal of improving service-delivery and ramping up infrastructure.
Addressing a two-day workshop with states for health and wellness centres, Health Secretary Preeti Sudan on Tuesday said that the government will use NHPM reimbursements to incentivise community health centres (CHCs) and primary health centres (PHCs). “The reimbursement for health services will be allowed to be kept for CHCs and PHCs. This will help strengthen public health network,” Sudan said.
Announced in the Union Budget this year, NHPM will provide an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10.74 crore families. There is no cap on family size. Families will be eligible for the scheme based on deprivation and occupational criteria as per Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) data.
An important component of strengthening the public health network is to make service providers the stakeholders in the system.
A Health Ministry official said, “Some of the money that comes into health centres will be distributed among doctors and staff as incentive — this is over and above their salaries. This will help keep them motivated (and) they will stay away from private practice and devote time to government hospitals. This would also mean that they have a stake in getting more patients into the hospital. We have already had discussions with states, and the consensus is that about 15 per cent should be earmarked for the providers.”
The key to the successful implementation of the mission would be the information technology platform. “An MoU has already been signed. The Telengana platform will be contextualised for NHPM,” the official said. “However, for the long run, the search is on for an even better, state-of-the-art solution. Niti Aayog is working on it, they are also consulting various experts such as Nandan Nilekani. The IT platform will decide the timing of the launch.”
On Monday, which was observed as Ayushman Bharat Diwas as part of the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, beneficiary verification was completed to a large extent, officials said. They said almost 90 per cent NHPM beneficiaries have been verified, and the rest will have to be done through a door-to-door drive.