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New PPP Model in Healthcare Mooted

The NITI Aayog and Health Ministry, in consultation with World Bank have drafted a framework that will allow private players to run some services in district hospitals. This is a new Public Private Partnership (PPP) project being undertaken by the Government of Indias apex think tank.

As per the draft,
• Private hospitals will be allowed to run select services – cancer care, cardiac disease, and pulmonary disease – for a lease period of 30 years in district hospitals.
• The space in the district hospital (especially those of tier 2 and 3 cities) will be allowed for bidding by a single private partner or a consortium of private partners.
• The bid will enable the private hospital to set up hospitals with 50 or 100 beds within the district hospital. A State could lease up to 5 or 6 hospitals within the State.
• A one-time seed money for setting up infrastructure will be given by the state governments via a Viability Gap Funding (VGF).
• Also, state health departments and private parties will share facilities like ambulance services, mortuary services and blood banks.

Criticism
Experts in health care criticized the move by the Aayog that health care being a state subject, it has no base for framing a health policy. Also, they say that stakeholders from civil society and academia were not part of the discussions while drafting the framework.

They say, critical public assets are being given away by the government without much in return.

Particular concern of experts is a provision in the draft that do not allow for reserved beds or quota beds for free services in these private facilities.

Also, another provision that allows only BPL (Below Poverty Line) patients and insurance holders for free services is a cause for concern as it effectively denies millions of Indians from accessing these services.

These proposals, if implemented, will move Indian away from the universal health care goal of sustainable development goals.

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