Until the new notification making Aadhaar compulsory under the government’s Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, healthcare workers say did not even know cash benefits were available.
While some states have managed to increase access to affordable healthcare, it remains below par when compared to other developing economies.
Despite the high out-of-pocket costs, a large number of patients across rural and urban India are choosing private healthcare options.
Most medical tourists need translators, who are hired by hospitals and charge high commissions. Patients are also often forced to do expensive tests, even if they may not understand what’s going on.
The government’s premier policy-formulating agency recently recommended measures to deregulate the pharmaceutical sector and make essential medicines more expensive.
Swadeshi Jagran Manch has accused several government arms of lobbying for pharmaceutical companies and negating the NPPA’s attempts to make medicines affordable.
M.K. Venu, founding editor of The Wire, in conversation with Leena Menghaney from Doctors Without Borders India.