Shreya Tinkhede, NSoJ BureauNational school of journalism, Bangalore conducted an illuminating discussion with a panel of experts from the field of healthcare, public policy, and planning recently at the college auditorium. The panelists consisted of eminent personalities including Dr. Bharthi Rajshekhar- past President, IMA Hassan and Vice President KPMEAJ, Dr. C.N Manjunath -Director, Sri Jaydeva Institute of Cardiovascular Science, Prof Raghunath- Professor of strategy, IIM Bangalore and Dr.Vijayakumar- Vice chancellor Yenepoya University, and Dr Alexander Thomas- President AHPI. The event was moderated by HS Balram- former resident editor of Times of India, Bangalore..
Ayushman Bharat is a national health protection scheme that covers up to 10 crore poor and vulnerable families of India by providing coverage up to Rs 5 lakh per family. This scheme is a result of thorough analysis and interpretation, the panel of experts devoted quality time in analysing the situation wherein it will be made viable and accessible to the public at large. "The schemes are always prone to calculating the cost, rather it should be more concentrated toward the cost of expenses a patient has to insure " stated Prof Raghunath. He believed that rather than being peculiar about the financial accounting of everything, one should focus on activity-based costing and how much relevant and pocket-friendly is it for the patient, which will reduce extra costs and benefit the needy. The discussion further continued with understanding the mechanism of the scheme " The scheme only covers the procedural cost of treatment, the entire medical procedure is not free of cost" quoted Dr. Manjunath. Although he emphasised the fact that hospitals never return their patients on the cost of their incompetency of paying the fees and would like the government to allocate more money to Ayushman Bharat which is only 280 crores, which will make it easy for the hospital to pay out of their pockets when needed outside the scheme. Dr. Bharthi Rajshekhar commented that "I would always be spontaneous about providing high-quality service to my patients, rather than fooling them". She added that she makes sure that the patient is aware of the scheme and operates accordingly.
Dr. Vijaya Kumar felt somehow the mechanism of the scheme is not that strong to make it viable and needs a lot of research and hard work. Dr. Alexander felt that a proper costing committee should be set up and the government must increase the budgetary allocation towards health care. There was also a need how the trust deficit between the patient and doctors can be solved with the help of an ombudsman, and price allocating mechanism of medicine and equipment should take major steps toward it. The panelists came out with effective solutions that will make Ayushman Bharat easily accessible. After launching this scheme, India has witnessed its first outcome in the way of a girl child being delivered in Haryana through funding with this scheme, she's been named Karishma.