Boosting Health Infrastructure

  • IASbaba
  • October 27, 2021
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Oct 25: Boosting Health Infrastructure-


  • GS-II: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

Boosting Health Infrastructure

In News: Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission has been launched which will be one of the largest pan-India scheme for strengthening healthcare infrastructure across the country. The government will spend Rs 64,180 crore on the scheme from the financial year 2021-22 to 2025-26.

To address three critical gaps in India’s public health sector: 

  • Augmenting health facilities for treatment
  • Setting up of Integrated Public Health labs for diagnosis of disease
  • Expansion of existing research institutions that study pandemics

Component 1: Establish comprehensive surveillance of infectious diseases

  • At the district level, Integrated Public Health laboratories in all 730 districts will be set up.
  • At the state level, five regional branches and 20 metropolitan units of the National Centre for Disease Control. 
  • At the national level, an Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) will be established.

Component 2: Creation of comprehensive diagnostics and treatment facilities

  • At the district level, 17,788 new rural health and wellness centres will be set up; 11,024 new urban health and wellness centres will be set up; critical care hospital blocks will be established in each of 602 districts, with a population of more than 5 lakh.
  • At the state level, 15 health emergency operation centres will be set up. 
  • At the national level, two container-based mobile hospitals will be set up; and critical care hospital blocks in 12 Government of India hospitals will be set up — which will also act as mentor institutions for training and capacity building.

Component 3: Comprehensive pandemic research

  • At the district level, strengthening of existing 80 viral diagnostics and research labs will be undertaken. 
  • At the state level, 15 new bio-safety level III laboratories will be operationalised.
  • At the national level, four new regional national institutes for virology will be operationalized and a regional research platform (digital) for WHO southeast Asia Region will also be set up.

Why is the scheme significant?

India has long been in need of a ubiquitous healthcare system. A study (‘State of Democracy in South Asia (SDSA)–Round 3’) by Lokniti-CSDS in 2019 highlighted how access to public health care remained elusive to those living on the margins. The study found that 

  • 70 per cent of the locations have public healthcare services. However, availability was less in rural areas (65 per cent) compared to urban areas (87 per cent).
  • In 45 per cent of the surveyed locations, people could access healthcare services by walking, whereas in 43 per cent of the locations they needed to use transport. 
  • The survey also found that proximity to healthcare services is higher in urban localities: 64 per cent of the enumerators in urban areas observed that people can access healthcare services by walking, while only 37 per cent in rural areas can do so

Note: Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) is a flagship digital initiative involving the creation of not just a unique health ID for every citizen, but also a digital healthcare professionals and facilities registry.

Can you answer the following questions?

  1. Ayushman Bharat is one of the most ambitious health schemes ever launched in India. What can be the key challenges in proper implementation of this scheme?
  2. Right to health – A Fundamental Right

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