The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday issued guidelines to states to incentivize private sector for setting up of hospitals in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities to improve healthcare services and to ensure maximum utilization of the benefits under the recently launched Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY). Interventions to incentivize private sector will include land allotment, facilitating various clearances with specific timelines and Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for improving the financial viability and bankability of the project, a health ministry statement said. “The objective of the broad guidelines is to improve the supply of healthcare services in the underserved areas to ensure maximum utilization of the benefits under PMJAY and to improve the demand for quality healthcare services at affordable prices to general public,” the statement said.
Also, to encourage private Investments in setting up of hospitals in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, the government will earmark and provide sufficient unencumbered land on lease or through bidding, facilitate various permissions and clearances through special window with timelines. AB-PMJAY, which was launched on September 23 last year, aims to provide a coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year to over 10 crore poor families (approx. 50 crore people) in the empaneled hospitals throughout the country. All states and Union territories, barring Delhi, Telangana and Odisha, have signed agreements with the health ministry for implementing the scheme. The total number of hospitals covered under the scheme is 16,000 and is increasing steadily. More than 50 percent of the implementing hospitals are in the private sector. In the first 100 days, 6.85 lakh patients have been provided hospital treatment and 5.1 lakh claims have availed of the scheme, for which payment has been released. – Business Standard