Rashtriya Swasth Bhima Yojana (RSBY) will be restructured to make its coverage wider, intensive, flexible and IT driven. The restructured scheme to be coordinated by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It will bring together the disjointed schemes coordinated by different agencies under one umbrella. The new scheme is likely to be operational shortly.
Highlighting the details of the proposed restructured RSBY at the 9th Health Insurance Summit, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi today, Bhanu Pratap Sharma, secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that the new scheme would have more benefits and beneficiaries. The States which want to extend the services to people above poverty line (APL) and provide secondary and tertiary benefits could do so as a top up of the scheme.
An important feature of the new scheme, Sharma said was the strong IT platform which would be created for facilitating the operations of the scheme. A large database is being created that would detail facilities at every hospitals, disease profile and other details and would help immensely every stakeholder.
He informed that the restructured RSBY would cover around 8 to 10 crore BPL people and there will be enhancement of cash limits for treatment. Improved quality, universal coverage, affordability would be the hallmark of the new scheme, which will also lay stress on preventive medical care. In this regard, the scheme envisages free medical check-ups once in every three years for the age group vulnerable to the cardiac diseases and diabetes.
The secretary stressed that the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model would be used for creating strong infrastructure in the health sector. This is possible through a good contract management framework, where aspirations and responsibilities of the stakeholders are addressed to.
In his address, G Srinivasan, CMD, New India Assurance Co stressed the need for insurance companies coming out with simple products to gain acceptance of the customers. Vast majority of the people are outside the purview of health insurance, which he opined should need urgent attention.
He laid emphasis on quality, accessibility and affordability, which should become cornerstone of the health policy. Standardisation, digitisation coupled with high awareness could enhance the insurance penetration in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Naresh Trehan, Chairman, CII National Council on Healthcare said, “We have a lot of reservoir of knowledge technology and human capital in the private sector. This along with predetermined realistic costs can be used to our advantage to plug the gaps that may exist today in healthcare delivery”.
A Vaidheesh, Chairman, CII Sub-Committee on Accessibility and Health Insurance, said that health insurance is critical for the middle class. They are the backbone of the country. “We need insurance products that suit them. One health episode in the family destroys their aspirations”, he added.
Rahul Khosla, Co-chairman, MD, Max India stressed the need for streamlining the payments to RSBY. He also wanted building up of trust among the players through regular consultations among the stakeholders to sort out their differences and build mutual trust.