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India announces to expand new healthcare system

Dr.+Prathap+Reddy%2C+the+chairman+and+founder+of+Apollo+Hospitals%2C+a+large+chain+of+private+hospitals+operating+in+India%2C+believes+the+new+healthcare+system+will+be+the+largest+change+to+Indian+healthcare+in+decades.+The+Indian+government+recently+announced+their+plan+to+expand+healthcare+coverage+to+500+million+more+Indians.
Dr. Prathap Reddy, the chairman and founder of Apollo Hospitals, a large chain of private hospitals operating in India, believes the new healthcare system will be the largest change to Indian healthcare in decades. The Indian government recently announced their plan to expand healthcare coverage to 500 million more Indians.

Dr. Prathap Reddy, the chairman and founder of Apollo Hospitals, a large chain of private hospitals operating in India, believes the new healthcare system will be the largest change to Indian healthcare in decades. The Indian government recently announced their plan to expand healthcare coverage to 500 million more Indians.

Provided by Wikimedia Commons

Provided by Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Prathap Reddy, the chairman and founder of Apollo Hospitals, a large chain of private hospitals operating in India, believes the new healthcare system will be the largest change to Indian healthcare in decades. The Indian government recently announced their plan to expand healthcare coverage to 500 million more Indians.

by Eric Fang, Winged Post Global Editor

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India announced their plans to institute a new healthcare system that would reportedly give 500 million Indians free healthcare by early February. This major change comes before a crucial general election next year and would relieve millions of Indians of some financial burden.

Payment for the new system comes out of the country’s 2018-2019 budget and is a major change to the meager 1.3 percent of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) spent on healthcare the previous year.

In a statement, Finance Minister of India Arun Jaitley explained the change is expected to improve the living conditions of the country’s rural and agricultural communities, as the healthcare plan provides many previously uninsured families several thousand dollars per year to spend on medical expenditures. He additionally confirmed that the government would levy a surtax and would possibly tax capital gains as well to raise money for their plans to build $188 million worth of new “health and wellness” centers.

Dr. Prathap Reddy, the chairman and founder of Apollo Hospitals, a large chain of private hospitals operating in India, believes the healthcare change will be a large and possibly difficult to manage transformation.

“This is the largest change in government-run healthcare I’ve seen in my lifetime,” Reddy said. “The number of covered people will essentially double, meaning the government will have to spend more money on healthcare than ever before.”

More details for the new healthcare system will be laid out in the Indian parliament sometime in the next few days.

Economics teacher Sam Lepler believes the quality of care is contingent on how much of the annual budget the government decides to apportion to funding it. Because of the large scale of coverage expansion, costs will be extremely high and may be difficult for the government to pay while still maintaining the same standards of care.

“It all really depends on the amount of funding they are able to put in,” Lepler said. “If you cover 500 million more people with free healthcare, it’s going to cost a lot, so the quality of care really depends on how much money the government is willing to spend on healthcare compared to last year.”

If implemented however, Lepler said that free healthcare could potentially make a large impact on Indian lives.

“[Their lives] can be tremendously different,” Lepler said. “If you are uninsured in America for example and you get a heart attack, you will probably get a medical bill of a hundred to two hundred thousand dollars for a week or two in the hospital. That would make you bankrupt and would essentially ruin your life. Having health insurance prevents that from happening.”

This piece was originally published in the pages of the Winged Post on March 6, 2018,

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India announces to expand new healthcare system