A new public private partnership (PPP) model, similar to the Apollo Hospital in Delhi, has caused a spar between the Planning Commission and the health ministry.
The Planning Commission has proposed that the private developer will get land free of cost and in return, they will have to provide eight bed wards free of cost for the below poverty line families, who will be covered by a composite government run health insurance scheme.
However, the single and twin sharing wards will be available at the rates to be decided by the private player with the government having no role to play in its price fixation.
Giving so much of independence to the private player is an issue of concern for the health ministry.
“The government should have some role to play in overall management of the hospital as the most costly element of the entire project, the land, will be provided free of cost,” a senior health ministry official said.
Keeping the government out of the management, the ministry officials believe, will mean no role in even managing the beds reserved for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.
“We know that in Delhi the beds meant for BPL families are mostly shown as booked,” an official said, while adding that the PPP model tilts the balance in favour of the private parties.
Such was the ministry’s opposition that it did not attend a meeting called by Planning Commission to discuss the PPP model with the state governments.
The plan panel, which has been working on PPP model on health for last two years, defended its decision to go ahead with the meeting despite ministry’s opposition saying its mandate was to discuss new ideas with the implementing agencies.
But, promoting PPP model for health and education has not been easy for the plan panel. Earlier, the HRD ministry had opposed the panel’s PPP model for 2,500 model schools to be opened across the nation.
The finance ministry has objected to the panel discussing the PPP models directly with the implementing agencies saying it was impinging on its territory and had even written in this regard to the Cabinet Secretariat. The PPP is under the administrative control of the finance ministry.