Amid the second wave of the pandemic sweeping across the country, the Union health ministry has sought the help of the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) to provide crucial medical supplies to the healthcare sector.
This development follows a high-level meeting between Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan and the Empowered Group.
Responding to the developments, NCDC Managing Director Sundeep Nayak said, “Under the Ayushman Sahakar scheme, NCDC stands committed to lend Rs 10,000 crore to co-operatives either to set up new healthcare facilities or to upgrade the existing ones.”
The rise in Covid-19 cases due to the second wave of the pandemic, has brought the Indian healthcare system to its knees, with hospitals across the country being unable to manage the excessive inflow of patients.
Under the current circumstances, Nayak believes that there is an urgent need to increase the number of beds in the 51 hospitals that are part of the cooperative sector. Currently, only 5,000 beds are available in these hospitals.
Nayak further said that 18 NCDC regional offices spread across the country will act as a nodal point for cooperatives to plan and set up new hospitals or upgrade existing infrastructure. Co-operatives can approach their regional office to process their application and facilitate the approval of financial assistance. “There is a special emphasis on Covid care”, Nayak added.
NCDC had launched the Ayushman Sahakar scheme, last October. Through the scheme, NCDC aims to upgrade the healthcare infrastructure across the country. Under the scheme, funds worth Rs 10,000 crore have been allocated to be disbursed to eligible cooperative bodies throughout India.