An insurance scheme that allows 50 crore people access to quality hospitals can work as a global model

Imagine a hutment dweller on the roadside in possession of an Aadhaar card. The child is down with a very high fever or maybe the man has a cardiac arrest.
In a panic, the wife does not beg for transport and rush the patient to the municipal hospital, where she would have to wade through officialdom to get the patient to share a bed in the ward —which has dirty sheets and houses a couple of street dogs.
This is the situation in many a government hospital. Instead, she rings for an ambulance and gets one from Lilavati, Apollo, or Max Hospital. The patient is taken into an air-conditioned room and the operation is performed.
Does this sound like fantasy?...”
Universal Healthcare
This refers to the piece "Finally, a Healthline for India's poor" (February 6). One positive thing in India happening in recent years is that several development initiatives which will benefit the country, in the long run, are taking off without much fanfare when a lot of noise in the media and legislatives is made about relatively minor, but sensitive, issues which get sorted out on their own.
If examples are needed, one is this NHPS and the other is Ganga Waterways.
Sure, the infrastructure and funds provided for NHPS are inadequate by any standards. The expectation that private sector hospitals will receive the poor with red carpet, even if they are assured of timely payments, is also misplaced.
But once GOI acts serious with firm determination, all hurdles will melt down. 
An Aadhaar-related people-friendly Universal Healthcare Scheme is an Idea whose time has come.
M G Warrier, Mumbai


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