The government plans to set up 1.5 lakh health and community centers to boost Ayushman Bharat, the Center’s health insurance scheme, to screen patients for diseases like cancer, hypertension, diabetes, etc. Rakesh Ranjan, Deputy Director General and Senior Consultant of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, said 2500 centers have already been established across India, of which 600 are in the 117 aspirational districts identified by NITI Aayog. “The target is to set up 15,000 centers this year,” Ranjan said. It is a big initiative, which will be achieved through greenfield projects or by upgrading existing public health centers, he said. Ranjan was speaking at the second edition of the Tata Trusts’ technology conclave that brought together government representatives, industry leaders, innovators and philanthropists to discuss and debate the different ways in which technology can be adopted in initiatives for social impact.
Challenges in healthcare
Among the many panel discussions, Venkat Changavalli, Senior Advisor to Tata Trusts, brought up the challenges in primary healthcare. The panel highlighted the need for collection of quality data for improved analysis in the healthcare sector. Burzis Taraporevala, Senior Advisor, Tata Trusts, said technology is transforming lives. “Technology has long been applied in industry and business and it is important that the social sector also embrace it for effective implementation of social programs and in measuring their outcomes.” – The Hindu