Ayushman Sahakar schemeApprox Read Time: 3 min
- The Centre has launched the Ayushman Sahakar scheme to involve co-operatives in creating healthcare infrastructure in the country.
- It has been observed that due to lack of credit support, many cooperative hospitals find difficulty to start new aspects of medical education including colleges offering MBBS, BDS, BAMS programmes.
- Moreover, the ongoing pandemic has brought into focus the need to strengthen health infrastructure in rural areas.
- The scheme takes inspiration from the successful work cooperatives have done in the healthcare sector in Kerala. The NCDC has so far financed around 30 hospitals in Kerala.
About: Ayushman Sahakar scheme
- Under the scheme, the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) will give loans to cooperatives to set up healthcare facilities.
- The scheme aligns itself with the focus of the National Health Policy 2017, covering health systems in all their dimensions.
- The various dimensions include investments in health, organisation of healthcare services, access to technologies, development of human resources and affordable healthcare to farmers.
- Assist cooperative societies to provide comprehensive healthcare including education, services, insurance and related activities.
- Assist promotion of AYUSH facilities by cooperative societies.
- Assist cooperative societies to meet the objectives of National Health Policy.
- Assist cooperative societies to participate in the National Digital Health Mission.
- Under the scheme, the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) will give loans to eligible cooperatives totalling Rs 10,000 crore in the coming years.
- The assistance will flow either through state governments/ UT administrations or directly to the eligible cooperatives.
- The scheme would specifically cover establishment, modernisation, expansion, repairs, renovation of hospitals, and healthcare and education infrastructure encompassing all hospitals and Ayush facilities.
- It would also cover yoga wellness centre, ayurveda, allopathy, unani, siddha, homoeopathy and other traditional medicine healthcare centres.
- The scheme provides also working capital to meet operational requirements. It also provides interest subvention of one percent to women majority cooperatives.
- There are about 52 hospitals across the country run by cooperatives, with a cumulative bed strength of more than 5,000.
- The NCDC fund will give a boost to provision of healthcare services run by cooperatives.
- In the process, the scheme would revolutionize the way healthcare delivery takes place in rural areas.
About: National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC)
- NCDC is an apex level statutory autonomous institution set up in 1963. It functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
- It has been created for the purpose of promoting programmes for the production, marketing, storage, export and import of agricultural produce, industrial goods and services like hospital & healthcare and education etc. on cooperative principles.
- It extends financial assistance to cooperatives and is the most preferred financial institution for cooperatives.