70% Indians have no health insurance: Study

NEW DELHI: Seventy per cent of India’s population have no health insurance and the country is short by 2 million beds compared with the global benchmark, according to a whitepaper released by a leading health sector body.

The report ‘Aarogya Bharat 2015’, released by NATHEALTH today, stated that India requires US$ 3 trillion in cumulative funding and has the potential to generate 15 to 20 million jobs by 2025.

health insurance study“Private insurance is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of about 25 per cent to cover the top 25 per cent of the population, by income level. Public insurance will provide essential care to 60 per cent of the population by 2025,” said Shivinder Mohan Singh, President of NATHEALTH.

“India can adopt universal access to essential healthcare driven by private sector-led provision with the Government playing the role of primary payer and provider in remote and underserved areas,” said Anjan Bose, Secretary General of NATHEALTH.

NATHEALTH also urged the Government to increase public spending on healthcare to 2.5 per cent-3 per cent of GDP, apportion a greater share of public spending to prevention, including mass screenings and primary care coverage by 2025.

Additionally, the Government should focus on being a payer, not a provider and demand and support quality outcomes, the report stressed.

The ‘white paper’ recommends the expansion of the supply of healthcare talent in critical roles, rejuvenation of AYUSH, (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) and encouragement of private investment in education.

“To facilitate ‘Make in India’ innovations, the Government can look to further incentivize domestic innovation and manufacturing. This will also have a ripple effect in terms of increased FDI and will generate employment,” said Bose.

A key recommendation of the white paper is an appeal to the Government to increase tax exemption on premiums of health insurance and incentivize private sector participation in medical education.

The ‘white paper’ was released in collaboration with Bain and Company at its 2nd annual event held here today.

The body also introduced a unique initiative of an ‘Ethics Pledge’, a declaration by the industry leaders across diverse healthcare segments in partnership with Indian Medical Association (IMA), to build a robust and transparent platform to promote ethical practices in the healthcare ecosystem.

Read more at: The Economic Times

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