India, ADB sign $300 million loan to improve primary health care in India


    In News 

    • Recently, India and the Asian Development Bank have signed a 300 million dollar loan agreement to strengthen and improve access to comprehensive primary health care in urban areas of 13 states. 

    Strengthening Comprehensive Primary Health Care and pandemic preparedness in Urban Areas Program 

    • About:
      • The programme supports the Government of India’s key health initiatives – Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWC) and Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PM-ASBY) – which has been renamed as Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) – by expanding availability and access to quality primary health care services particularly for vulnerable populations in urban areas.
        • PM-ABHIM announced in the Budget 2021-22, is the largest pan-India Health Infrastructure Scheme that aims to provide a much-needed fillip to India’s capacity to address emergent Public Health issues. 
    • Funding:
      • The programme is supported by a $2 million technical assistance grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction to provide support for programme implementation and coordination, capacity building, innovation, knowledge sharing and application of scalable best practices across the healthcare system. 
    • Significance:
      • This will benefit over 256 million urban dwellers including 51 million from the slum areas.
      • The programme complements the government’s efforts to bridge healthcare gaps by strengthening institutional capacity, operation, and management of urban health and wellness centres at central, state, and municipal levels.

    About Ayushman Bharat

    • Ayushman Bharat, a flagship scheme of Government of India, was launched as recommended by the National Health Policy 2017, to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). 
    • This initiative has been designed to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its underlying commitment, which is to “leave no one behind.”
    • Ayushman Bharat is an attempt to move from a sectoral and segmented approach of health service delivery to a comprehensive need-based health care service.
    • Ayushman Bharat adopts a continuum of care approach, comprising of two interrelated components, which are –
    • Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs)
      • Under it, 1,50,000 Health & Wellness Centres (HWCs) will be created to deliver Comprehensive Primary Health Care, that is universal and free to users, with a focus on wellness and the delivery of an expanded range of services closer to the community. 
    • Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY