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White Paper: Health expenditure was a pain point for households under UPA regime

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White Paper: Health expenditure was a pain point for households under UPA regime

New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday tabled a ‘White Paper’ in the Lok Sabha showcasing the achievements of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the last 10 years of Narendra Modi-led Central government, while also giving an account of the ‘economic mismanagement’ of the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime.

The White Paper pointed out that health expenditure remained a pain point for Indian households under the previous UPA government, unlike during the NDA regime where the Ayushman Bharat scheme has enabled underprivileged households to avail of free treatment at empanelled hospitals that would otherwise be out of their reach and push them deeper into poverty.

The White Paper stated: “The fact that out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) comprised 64.2 per cent of total health expenditure (THE) of India in FY14 (with little improvement over 69.4 per cent OOPE as a percentage of THE in FY05) meant that health expenditure kept drilling holes in the pockets of the Indian citizenship, besides being a pathway to poverty for poorer households.”

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Ayushman Bharat (PM-JAY), the largest health assurance scheme in the world fully funded by the government, is a flagship scheme of the NDA Government and was launched by the Prime Minister in September 2018.

It was envisioned on the recommendation of the National Health Policy 2017, to achieve Universal Health Coverage for all underprivileged citizens and provides a health cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation to the bottom 40 per cent of the Indian population.

–IANS

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