The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has welcomed the government’s announcement of according ‘industry status’ to private hospitals, along with support for land acquisition, clearances and funding, to boost expansion of healthcare infrastructure in tier 2- and 3- cities.
The announcement follows the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), also known as Ayushman Bharat, in September 2018, which aims to provide 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families (nearly 50 crore beneficiaries) with an annual cover of Rs. 5 lakhs per family for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.
Welcoming the move by the government and highlighting the need for more healthcare delivery organisations to ensure access under PMJAY, Sangita Reddy, Senior VP, FICCI and Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd said, “In India, skewed distribution of hospital beds, with their heavy concentration in the metros has long been a challenge in reaching the last mile with quality healthcare provision. This opportune step by the government strongly reinforces private healthcare providers’ commitment towards improving access to quality care.”
In the last decade, 70 per cent of the new bed capacity additions were in the private sector, which also caters to 70 per cent of in-patient and 60 per cent of outpatient healthcare services in the country.
Appreciating the intent of the government to build an enabling environment for successful implementation of PMJAY, (Hony) Brig Dr Arvind Lal, Chair, FICCI Health Services Committee and CMD, Dr Lal PathLabs Ltd said, “The key to engage more private healthcare organisations will be a viable model for their sustainability. The new hospitals which will be mandated to empanel under PMJAY should be allowed to charge other patients who can afford to pay as per market rates, as the current PMJAY package rates may not be sustainable to set up and run operations in such locations.”