India allocates $1.5 billion for 'Modicare' health insurance
The program would provide 100 million families, or about 500 million poor people, with health cover of 500,000 rupees per year
India has allocated $1.54 billion for its ambitious health program aimed at providing insurance cover for about half the population, the health minister announced.
Health Minister J.P. Nadda labelled it the largest such scheme in the world at a newsbriefing on Thursday, Reuters reported.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government dubbed the scheme “Modicare”. It announced in February the program would provide 100 million families, or about 500 million poor people, with health cover of 500,000 rupees per year for treatment of serious ailments.
Health Ministry officials said the government has allocated 100 billion rupees ($1.54 billion) for the “National Health Protection Mission” for 2018/19 and 2019/20.
The measures are Modi’s latest attempt to reform a public health system that faces a shortage of hospitals and doctors. The government has also in recent years capped prices of critical drugs and medical devices and increased health funding. Still, India spends only about 1 percent of its GDP on public health, among the world’s lowest, Reuters comments.