Entrepreneurs are hopeful that the benefits of the Ayushman Bharat scheme launched by the government last year will trickle down to their fraternity in the times to come. An increased partnership with the government in the near future for innovations to reach scale is being looked at as a key benefit that can accrue for the startup ecosystem.
The Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), announced in September last year, is touted as the ‘world’s largest government funded healthcare programme’ aimed at targeting over 50 crore beneficiaries. Some of the perks include a cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation. It also aims to minimise the ‘catastrophic’ expenditure that people are subjected to during hospitalisation.
Arun Agarwal, Founder of Janitri, a startup focused on improving maternal and child healthcare, says that this scheme will prove to be beneficial to him as an entrepreneur in the long run. “We have already started working with state level governments and National Health Mission – they are accepting our product. When am talking to hospitals now, they are covering the delivery cost too via the scheme of Rs 5 lakh. So more people are now coming in,” he said.
Uterine contraction is one of the important parameter to track the labor progress and diagnose lot of other complications during intra-partum period but get monitored inaccurately & ignored more than 85% of the time. This indirectly leads to mortality/morbidity. Janitri’s device is an affordable, easy to use & portable uterine contraction monitoring device for low resources healthcare settings.
Another component of Ayushman Bharat is the access of Health and Wellness Centers (HWCs) at the primary level and financial protection for accessibility to curative care at the secondary and tertiary level via engagement with the public and private sectors.
Dr Anshu Agarwal, Founder of tele-healthcare platform CallmyDoctorAnytime.com says that they look forward to collaborating with more government doctors’ post this scheme coming in. “We hope to reach out to more doctors, professionals and patients through this scheme. This will help more people come within the ambit of professional healthcare,” she said.
According to a Crisil Research report, despite sustained focus on core health infrastructure; around 55% of country’s households do not use/ are not able to use government facilities. “This is mainly because of perceived poor quality of care – the National Family Health Survey for fiscal 2016 had revealed this was the primary reason for not using government facilities – and/or lack of availability of facilities nearby,” said the report.
Startups that can help patients connect with healthcare professionals; provide credible information on quality and the nature of services being provided will play a vital role in ensuring the scheme is a success.
Source – Crisil
Speaking at the inaugural session of the recently organized TiE Delhi NCR Healthcare summit, Bobby John, MD, Aequitas Consulting said that the programme actually caters to the 1.3 billion people of the country as opposed to only the economically challenged lot of 500 million (around 40% of India’s population). “It covers the entire population, not just a limited stratum of the society as has been perceived,” he asserted.
India had different healthcare schemes that included the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) and the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), along with many schemes run by various states. According to Crisil, the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) will subsume the ongoing centrally sponsored scheme RSBY and most existing state sponsored schemes.
Highlighting the significance of making the scheme more sustainable, Anamika Roy Rashtrawar, Director Marketing, IFFCO Tokio General Insurance revealed that at least 17-19% of the insurance claims come from infectious diseases such as cough, cold or fever which don’t necessarily even need hospitalisation. “If we can avoid this huge chunk, the schemes would be more sustainable and can actually be used for someone who requires it more urgently,” she said. Crisil says the NHPS has a target rate of Rs 1,082 per family for a medical cover of up to Rs 5 lakh (which translates into a premium of Rs 216 per capita).
Healthcare startups such as Vitor Health, GenElek Technologies and Janitri showcased their products and offerings to the attendees at the summit, demonstrating the use of technology and innovation in health. Geetika Dayal, Executive Director, TiE Delhi-NCR, said, “TiE’s intent is to encourage startups and investors alike to help find advanced and effective healthcare solutions not just for India but also globally. Our attempt has been to touch all the facets disrupting the healthcare sector.”