India is preparing a universal health insurance scheme under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal supervision, which is set to be the world’s largest of its kind, aimed at delivering quality health insurance services to all, an official release said, quoting health minister Harsh Vardhan’s speech to India-origin physicians in the US on Saturday.
“The blueprint of the world’s largest universal health insurance programme is in the process of being sharpened under the Prime Minister’s personal gaze. It is partially inspired by US President Barack Obama’s grand insurance-for-all project, which is popularly known as ‘Obamacare’”, said Vardhan.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of the US, signed into law in 2010, seeks to raise quality and affordability of health insurance and to reduce the number of uninsured. So far, more than 10 million people have enrolled for the programme.
Vardhan, who also read out Modi’s written speech at the annual convention of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) in Texas, said the Prime Minister had authorised him to design a “brand-new policy soon”.
Modi, in his speech, said his aim was to bring about a “complete transformation” of the health sector through research, innovation and the latest technology, said the statement.
Vardhan also unveiled a portal that would give all required permissions within a fortnight to physicians in the US who wish to work in India. The minister said he has instructed the medical education regulator, MCI, to make sure that if permission is held up beyond 15 days, then it shall be deemed granted.