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This is with reference to "No short-cuts to health" (February 5). The National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), dubbed Modicare/NAMOcare, announced in the Union Budget, if implemented well, will benefit millions of impoverished families. Providing a health cover of up to Rs 500,000 each to 100 million ‘poor and vulnerable families’ with 500 million individuals making up 40 per cent of the country’s population would be nothing short of a path-breaking social welfare measure. It should not matter much that the mega scheme was thought up by a right-wing government with an orientation to the market and big business. ALSO READ: Why Modicare numbers just don't add up and may just remain on paper Unveiling the programme, when there was ample time to implement it successfully rather than waiting till its stock took a dip, would have bolstered its pro-poor credentials.
Finances, infrastructural facilities and logistic support are a pre-requisite for rolling out the scheme. Nonetheless, it comforts us to believe that the incoming government of whatever political hue after the 2019 General Elections cannot skip the scheme beneficial to the country’s impoverished masses. It is important to ensure that the needy and not the firms that run chains of multi-specialty and super-specialty hospitals are the eventual beneficiaries. One hopes that the government will give priority to the scheme, works out the nitty gritty and launches it from August 12 or latest by October 2.G David Milton Tamil Nadu
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