Launched under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) on October 19, 2020, Ayushman Sahakar is a unique scheme to assist cooperatives to play an important role in the creation of healthcare infrastructure in the country.
The COVID pandemic has brought into focus the requirement of adequate facilities in the healthcare sector. Thus, under this scheme, NCDC would extend term loans to prospective cooperatives to the tune of Rs.10,000 crore in the coming years.
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In this article, we shall discuss at length the benefits and objectives of the Ayushman Sahakar Yojana and how it will benefit the healthcare industry in India. This is also an important topic from the IAS Exam perspective.
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Ayushman Sahakar – Key Features
- Ayushman Sahakar Fund will be made available by the National Cooperative Development Corporation, and any cooperative society with suitable provision to undertake healthcare-related activities would be able to access the NCDC fund
- Term loans to prospective cooperatives to the tune of Rs.10,000 crore shall be provided
- Establishment and renovation of hospitals, modernisation, expansion and repairs of healthcare institutes and development of healthcare and education infrastructure shall be the main focus
- To meet the requirements, working capital and margin money shall also be provided to the cooperatives
- Interest subvention of 1% to women majority cooperatives shall also be provided under the Ayushman Sahakar scheme
Get an overview of the Healthcare Sector in India at the linked article.
Objectives of Ayushman Sahakar
Given below are the key objectives based on which the scheme has been introduced by the Government:
- To assist the provision of affordable and holistic healthcare through hospitals /healthcare/education facilities by cooperative societies
- To assist the promotion of AYUSH facilities by cooperative societies
- To assist cooperative societies to meet the objectives of National Health Policy
- To assist cooperative societies to participate in the National Digital Health Mission
- Assist cooperative societies to provide comprehensive healthcare including education, services, insurance and activities related thereto
|Who are the cooperatives?
International Labour Organisation (ILO) defines cooperatives as an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise
Significance of Ayushman Sahakar Scheme
- Currently, there are around 52 hospitals across the country run by cooperatives with a cumulative bed strength of 5000. After the implementation of Ayushman Sahakar, this number can be increased and shall provide a boost to the healthcare services
- This scheme is also in line with the National Health Policy, 2017
- Ayushman Sahakar scheme fund would also assist cooperative hospitals to take up medical / AYUSH education
- Ayushman Sahakar and the National Digital Health Mission work in line with each other and would bring transformation in rural areas
- NCDC assistance will flow either through the State Governments/ UT Administrations or directly to the eligible cooperatives
- Ayushman Sahakar specifically covers establishment, modernization, expansion, repairs, renovation of hospital and healthcare and education infrastructure encompassing:
- Hospitals and/ or Medical Colleges for running UG and /or PG programmes
- Yoga wellness centres, Ayurveda, Allopathy, Homeopathy and other traditional medicine healthcare centres
- Health care services for the elderly, persons with disability, mentally challenged
- Mobile Clinic Services and Emergency Medical Services
- Drug testing laboratory and blood banks
- Maternal health and Childcare services; Reproductive and Child Health services
- Information and Communication Technology related to digital health,
- Health insurance accredited by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA)
- Any other related centre or services as may be deemed fit by NCDC for assistance, and more
Also, visit Affordable Healthcare: RSTV – In Depth
About National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC)
- The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) was established by an Act of Parliament in 1963 as a statutory Corporation under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
- Since 1963, NCDC has extended around Rs.1.60 lakh crore as loans to cooperatives
- The main function of NCDC is planning, promoting and financing programmes for the production, processing, marketing, storage, export and import of products and supply of consumer goods
- Apart from Ayushman Sahakar Scheme, two other important schemes launched by NCDC include:
Civil Cervices Exam aspirants can get updated with the detailed UPSC Syllabus for the prelims and mains exam at the linked article.
Frequently Asked Questions on Ayushman Sahakar Scheme
Q 1. What is the Ayushman Sahakar Scheme?
Q 2. What is NCDC?
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