Health ministry has asserted that the proposal is not exactly privatisation of public healthcare and is rather in line with the strategic purchase of services for secondary and tertiary care.
With an aim to provide diagnosis and treatment of three non-communicable disease in three fields including oncology, pulmonary and cardiac sciences in the II and III tier cities of the country, the health ministry along with Niti Aayog and World Bank as its technical partners have proposed a public-private partnership model. Health ministry has asserted that the proposal is not exactly privatisation of public healthcare and is rather in line with the strategic purchase of services for secondary and tertiary care. As per a report by Times of India, under the proposal, every state has been asked to identify five to six facilities in order to check the practicality of the model. The proposed PPP model would be conducted in district hospitals with a minimum of 250 beds and an average daily OPD of 1,000 patients over the last two years. The report also states that the hospitals must have sufficient space for the PPP facility, which would have somewhere between 50 to 100 beds.
A model contract framed by NITI Aayog was sent out to State governments on June 5 by Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog, giving every state a two-week window to revert with their feedback on the same. The government is planning to provide minimum screening, diagnostic and treatment procedures and services at these PPP facilities. The Times of India report also states that there would be two kind of patients at these centres – one who would be self-paying and the other paid by government under various schemes. However, both of these patients would pay same rates.
Also, those complicated cases which these PPP facilities won’t be able to deal with, would be further transferred to government owned hospitals or medical colleges or to private hospitals affiliated under government health insurance schemes. However, several activists have criticised the proposal calling it to be a bid to privatise public healthcare facilities and said that the move would raise healthcare costs in the country.
Testing the model, the pilot batch of these PPP facilities would be setup only in two states and further decision would be taken depending upon the feedback report from these two centres.