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Making NHPM work: On Ayushman Bharat


Independence Day
Extending health cover to the most needy is vital, and needs an infrastructure upgrade
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on Independence Day that Ayushman Bharat, or the National Health Protection(सुरक्षा) Mission, will be launched formally on September 25 sends out the signal that the government is finally recognising(मान्यता देना) the linkages(संपर्क) between health care and economic development. Political parties have not yet made the right to health a campaign(अभियान/मुहिम) issue, and the National Health Policy does not recommend(सिफारिश करना) such a right since it cannot be fulfilled(सफ़ल करना/परिपूर्ण करना). But there is increasing(बढ़ रही है) awareness(जागरूकता)that it is unsustainable(अरक्षणीय) for a country of 1.3 billion people to rely on household savings to pay for health care. The NHPM is an ambitious(महत्वाकांक्षी ) initiative(पहल,), providing(उपलब्ध कराने के) a coverage of ₹5 lakh per family a year to 10 crore families chosen through the Socio-Economic Caste(जाति) Census(जनगणना,), mainly rural poor and identified urban workers. State governments, which will administer it through their own agency, will have to purchase care from a variety of players, including(समेत) in the private sector, at pre-determined(पूर्व निर्धारित) rates. Reaching a consensus(आम राय/मेल) on treatment costs through a transparent consultative(परामर्श का) process is vital for a smooth and steady rollout. A large-scale Information Technology network for cashless treatment should be set up and validated(मंज़ूर करना/पुष्टि करना). Since a majority of the families will be rural, and the secondary and tertiary public hospital infrastructure(आधारिक संरचना/पूर्वावश्यकता) suffers from severe efficiency(कार्यक्षमता/योग्यता) and accountability problems, State governments should upgrade the administrative(प्रशासनिक) systems.

National schemes on health provide an overarching framework(बनावट/ढांचा), but the responsibility of executing(क्रियान्वित/पालन करना) them falls on the State governments. It is widely recognised that there are “nations with the nation” in India, given the population sizes, disease(बीमारी/दुख) burdens(बोझ) and the development levels of different regions. Clearly, the NHPM has a problem with the distribution(वितरण) of hospitals, the capacity of human resources(मानव संसाधन), and the finances available for cost-sharing. Addressing these through the planned increase in public health spending to touch 2.5% of GDP, and 8% of State budgets, is the immediate challenge. With steady economic growth, meeting that policy commitment through higher investments will be a test of political will. Yet, it is also an opportunity(अवसर) to tap into a large labour(उद्योग/श्रम) pool for the new jobs that will be created, and to raise skill levels. Reducing(छूट/कमी) the cost of universal health coverage is imperative(अनिवार्य/जरूरी है), and it requires(की आवश्यकता है) parallel(समांतर) investments(निवेश) in the neglected(नजरअंदाज कर दिया/उपेक्षित) public sector. Private insurance can only be a short-term option, and it clearly has limitations(सीमाओं). Less ethical(नैतिक/नीतिपरक) institutions have been found ordering unnecessary treatments to claim insurance compensation(मुआवजे ). An ombudsman to deal with complaints from NHPM users should, therefore, be a priority(प्राथमिकता). The Centre should extend(विस्तार करना/लागू होना) the scheme to all children and senior citizens, and cover out-patient consultation and essential(आवश्यक) drugs to extend(विस्तार करना/लागू होना) reduce out-of-pocket spending.



Important Vocabulary

1.Ambitious(महत्वाकांक्षी )
Synonyms:aggressive, determined, earnest,, energetic, enthusiastic
Antonyms: lethargic, unenthusiastic, content, easy, facile

Synonyms: Cancer, bug, condition, contamination, defect
Antonyms: advantage, good health, health, ability, blessing

3.Neglected(नजरअंदाज कर दिया/उपेक्षित)
Synonyms: decayed, deserted, ignored, overlooked, spurned
Antonyms: cared for, considered, heeded, used, well cared for

Synonyms: honest, honorable, humane, principled, proper
Antonyms: corrupt, dishonest, immoral, improper, unethical

Synonyms:crucial, fundamental, imperative, indispensable, main
Antonyms: auxiliary, extra, inessential, minor, needless

6.Extend(विस्तार करना/लागू होना) 
Synonyms: boost, broaden, continue, develop, enhance
Antonyms:abbreviate, abridge, cease, close, compress

Synonyms: coordinate, lateral, alongside, coextending, coextensive
Antonyms:crooked, different, dissimilar, divergent, separate

8.Consultative(परामर्श )
Synonyms: consulting, advising, consultatory, consultive, instructive




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