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COVID-19 reverses progress of Medical financing in India

COVID-19 reverses progress of Medical financing in India
by Jeevitha
29th September 2021
4 minutes read

Introduction – Medical financing post-covid

Health systems are expected to play in the delivery of healthcare to the public. Given that, health system financing is an essential policy problem in both developed and developing nations. The health-financing system is to enhance health outcomes, provide financial security, and address healthcare customers in a fair, efficient, and long-term way.

However, we recently saw how the advent of COVID-19 pandemic is impacting people’s lives. There is fear and panic about the pandemic’s long-term consequences. One of them is the deterioration of the health-care financing system. The pandemic’s effects can be long-lasting. And this medical financing post-covid is impacting many facets of human life and having far-reaching repercussions.

What is the root of the crisis of medical financing post-covid? Because of the lack of awareness of a sickness like the new Coronavirus, insurance policies providers, hospitals, and doctors were unaware of the disease, let alone cover it in their health insurance plans. To further comprehend this, consider the following:

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Lack of knowledge about pandemic a barricade for medical financing

Health finance is a key impediment to providing basic healthcare in India, owing to the country’s low economic performance and extremely high population growth. The absence of reliable research information are among the primary hurdles that health systems faced. Another hurdle is lack of knowledge about the virus and its effects. This made it more difficult to develop and implement effective steps to better cope with the pandemic. It slowed its spread, and lowered the death rate.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic influenced India’s healthcare funding system. In order to respond to the pandemic’s impact, the government committed resources to support preparedness and response. It was also to establish the upper cap, specific to certain industries, and provide support for MSMEs and job creation. These industries include the pharmaceutical sector, responsible for supplying COVID-19 drugs and equipment.

Steps to prevent further dip in medical financing

The government needed to cover the massive costs of the COVID-19 crisis. So it cut expenditures on goods and services, transfers, and capital investment. This circumstance has ramifications, leading to the overall fall of the gross domestic product of the nation for the financial year 2020-2021.

Donors reduce spend in health care

The pandemic also affected donor support. In the early aftermath of the pandemic, donors and development partners mobilised money to fund worldwide attempts to create a coronavirus vaccine. Donors are likely to reduce their contributions to healthcare finance in India and other poor nations. This is in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic owing to their economic disruption.

Panic among patients contributing to monetary inflow in healthcare system

Because of the pandemic’s outbreak, many individuals are avoiding medical help in hospitals. They fear of acquiring the virus. Many of these institutions, particularly public hospitals, are employed as isolation centres. And this deters the non-coronavirus patients from attending. 

People are afraid of contracting the virus if they attend a health institution. Many of them choose to self-medicate at home for certain ailments. Due to this, the number of National Health Insurance Scheme subscribers suffered.

Similarly, there is impact on the out-of-pocket payments, which are part of the private hospitals’ internally generated funds (IGF). People choose self-medication or home care avoid paying for treatments such as elective surgeries and reproductive health services. They chose not to go to a hospital. Non-attendance at hospitals is damaging hospitals’ IGF. It is causing out-of-pocket payments to decline as a source of health finance in India.

Moreover, the pandemic is already impacting work. It is affecting individual and household earnings. This has an impact on people’s capacity to pay for healthcare, lowering the IGF of healthcare institutions. The capacity of these hospitals to get consumables for running their facilities has undoubtedly lowered with their IGF falls.

Medical financing post-covid – What can be done?

To improve this, there’s the need to surge subscribers to keep renewing their healthcare policy plans to preserve the NHIS’s long-term viability. In this sense, broad education and awareness are critical. There should be promotion of the private health insurance participation. This can be particularly among the middle and higher classes who can afford it.

Useful links :

Patients Opt For Elective Surgeries As COVID Cases Decline.

Telemedicine – A Linchpin in The Dawn of Virtual Healthcare

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