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Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen Disses Ayushman Bharat

India needs healthy and educated people to drive the economic growth for which the government needs to work on building opportunities for and capabilities of people, said Nobel Laureate and economist Amartya Sen. Since the Ayushman Bharat Scheme neglects primary healthcare, it thus aims at wrong population, Amartya Sen said in an event. He instead recommends the government to boost immunity and health of infants and children through better dietary supplements at the primary healthcare level. The scheme would help the people of India to get specialized care but only if they survive early dangers of life, he pointed out. “What India needed was a radical change of primary healthcare, what you have in the government is great belief in magic,” Amartya Sen said speaking at a launch of a book ‘A Quantum Leap in the Wrong Direction?’

The book discusses outcomes achieved by the Modi government over five years. It concludes that the GDP growth rate of the NDA-II government is well below that achieved during UPA-I and only marginally better than UPA-II. Amartya Sen further raises serious reservations about the new methodology of measuring GDP, stressed banking sector and the outcomes of the demonetisation policy. Meanwhile, Sourindra Ghosh and Imrana Qadeer, also recently pointed out the insufficiency of the Ayushman Bharat scheme in addressing the ailing public sector health in India. The increase in allocation to health sector in Budget 2019 should have been directed towards reviving primary healthcare, rather than at Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme, which does not cover a majority of the treatments, Sourindra Ghosh (PhD scholar at the Center for Economic Studies and Planning, JNU) and Imrana Qadeer (Distinguished Faculty at Council for Social Development, Delhi) wrote in The Indian Express earlier this month. – Financial Express


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