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Polity and Governance

Privatisation of select services in district hospitals-Niti Ayog

In news:

As a part of a radical ‘privatisation project’, the Health Ministry and the NITI Aayog have developed a framework to let private hospitals run select services within district hospitals, on a 30-year lease.

  • Details of Proposal
  • The government will be allowing “a single private partner or a single consortium of private partners” to bid for space in district level hospitals, “especially in tier 2 & 3 cities.”
  • Under this Public Private Partnership (PPP), care for only three non-communicable diseases —
  • cardiac disease
  • Pulmonary disease
  • and cancer care — will be provided.

Hospital Selection:

  • The State governments have to lease up to five or six district hospitals within the State.
  • Only those district hospitals that have at least a two-year record of treating more than 1,000 cases in the outpatient department every day will be selected for privatisation.
  • Beneficiaries of the government insurance schemes will be able to get treatment at these hospitals but there will be no reserved beds or quota of beds for free services.

Funding through : Viability Gap Funding

  • The state government will provide funds (Viability Gap Funding) to private players to set up infrastructure within district hospitals.
  • The district hospitals will need to share their back-end services such as blood banks and ambulance services with the private players.

Some of the criticism

  • No consultation – The Ministry has been sharply criticised for not consulting the key stakeholders from civil society and academia in preparing the document.
  • Dismantling of the public services- Health policy is a state subject. NITI Aayog is an advisory body, whose primary role is to ensure that policies are not centralised, has been rushing through policies that are handing over essential public asset to the private sector without major.