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Ministry of health delegates powers to change National Health Benefit Package to NHA CEO

Gireesh Babu, New Delhi
Saturday, November 27, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Union health ministry has delegated powers to the chief executive officer of National Health Authority (NHA) to make changes in the National Health Benefit Package and implement them. This is in addition to the powers the Governing Board has issued to the CEO, in 2019.

According to a ministry notification, the Governing Board of the NHA in a meeting earlier this year decided to delegate certain powers to the CEO of NHA.

It includes “powers to make changes in the National Health Benefit Package to the chief executive officer (CEO), National Health Authority subject to adherence to the overall ceiling of expenditure as fixed by the Cabinet. The CEO, NHA, may make changes, implement them and inform the Governing Board about the same in the next meeting of the Governing Board,” said the notification.

The decision comes shortly after the Centre has announced revision of the Health Benefit Package (HBP) under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY). On October 5, 2021, Union minister of health and family welfare Mansukh Mandaviya announced that in the revised version of the HBP, rates of some health packages have been increased by 20 per cent to 400 per cent under PM-JAY. Around 400 procedure rates have been revised and one new additional medical management package related to black fungus has also been added. The revised package was announced for roll out from November.

Announcing the revision, Mandaviya said “I am glad that the revised version of Health Benefit Packages (HBP 2.2) will strengthen the empanelled hospitals to provide better healthcare services to the beneficiaries under Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY. The revised packages for oncology will enhance cancer care for the beneficiaries in the country. Addition of new packages related to black fungus will be a huge relief to the beneficiaries. I am sure that the rationalised HBP will further improve the uptake of schemes in private hospitals leading to reduced out-of-pocket expenditure for the beneficiaries.”

The full time chief executive officer, in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India, is appointed by the Central government at NHA.

The CEO is the Ex-officio member secretary to the Governing Board and has complete operational control over the NHA for implementation of PM-JAY. However, for all policy matters, the CEO reports to the Governing Board and works under its guidance.

The CEO exercises all administrative powers within the Authority and over its staff, delegated to the official by the Governing Board. The CEO also exercises the financial power of a Secretary to the Government of India as envisaged under GFR and Financial Rules & Regulations of Government of India.

The powers and functions of the CEO includes the day-to-day administration of the Authority, implementing the work programmes and decisions adopted by the Authority, drawing up of proposal for the Governing Board’s decisions and work programmes, the preparation of the statement of the revenue and expenditure and the execution of the budget of the authority, performing such other functions, or exercising such powers, as may be specified by regulations, ensure compliance to rules, procedure, regulations related to selection and recruitment of the staff for the Authority as laid by the Governing Board, among others.

The current CEO, Dr Ram Sewak Sharma was appointed on February 1, 2021, replacing the first CEO of NHA, Dr Indu Bhushan, who was in charge from May 1, 2018.

 

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