Health & Lifestyle

How effective are publicly Financed Health Insurance Schemes?

Publicly Financed Health Insurance (PFHI) schemes are a major healthcare reform that has been adopted on a large scale to achieve Universal Health Coverage in India. Several States have launched PFHI schemes apart from the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana launched in 2008. Research studies indicate a positive effect of PFHIs on the equality of utilization of inpatient services with the pro-rich inequality declining more in rural areas. There is an overall increase in the utilization of inpatient services which is higher for the poor quintiles and in rural areas. Any limitation in access to health facilities is observed to be due to weaknesses in public health infrastructure, represented by the bed and doctors’ density and system weaknesses reflected by higher Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). The recent launch of Ayushman Bharat by the Government of India is one more step towards inequity reduction and the solution to weakness in public health infrastructure. As it is ensuring access to private health care for the poor people, who are benefitting from the higher coverage of 5 lakh rupees.
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