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ICICI Lombard Expert Blog

India Forms National Health Authority to Replace Existing Healthcare Body

January 04 2019

The new healthcare body will look after the implementation of umbrella health insurance scheme, PMJAY

The government of India dissolved the existing healthcare body, National Health Agency and replaced it with National Health Authority for better implementation of Ayushman Bharat, the centre’s health insurance scheme for the poor. It will now directly oversee the government’s flagship scheme known as Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) aimed at providing umbrella healthcare policy to the Indian citizens.

The composition of the Governing Board of the National Health Authority (NHA) is broad-based with due representation from the government and domain experts, with the Union Health Minister of India as its chairman. Besides, the states shall also be represented on the board on rotational basis.

An official statement by the Health Ministry said, “The existing multi-tier decision-making structure has been replaced with the governing board chaired by the Union Minister of Health which will enable decision-making at a faster pace, required for smooth implementation of the scheme.”

The statement also mentioned that no new funds will be assigned for the new healthcare body. Instead, the existing budget that was approved earlier by the cabinet for National Health Agency, including costs related to IT, human resources, infrastructure, and operational funds would be available for utilisation by the National Health Authority.

The NHA will work alongside the insurance regulatory body and shall have full accountability and authority to implement the scheme through an efficient, effective and transparent decision-making process. It will also be responsible for setting the bar on premium amounts and purchasing healthcare from the private sector without favouring any one entity or depleting the public exchequer.

The Health Minister of India, Mr. J.P. Nadda praised the move saying, “The world’s largest healthcare scheme rightfully deserves the most efficient and effective governance structure with total accountability.”

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