The World Bank has approved loans totaling USD 1.75 billion (about Rs 13,834.54 crore) to fund India’s PM Ayushman Bharat scheme and private investment in order to boost economic growth.
Out of the total loan, USD 1 billion will go towards the health sector, while the rest of USD 750 million will be in the form of a development policy loan (DPL) to fill the financing gaps through private sector investment in the economy.
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved two complementary loans of USD 500 million each to support and boost India’s health sector.
With the help of this combined financing of USD 1 billion, the World Bank will support India’s flagship Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM), the World Bank stated in a release on Friday.
The funds will be used to improve public healthcare infrastructure across the country. In addition to the national-level interventions, one of the loans will prioritize seven states namely Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh, the multi-lateral funding agency reported.
Separately, its board approved the DPL to the union government to support reforms critical to addressing financing gaps by leveraging private sector investment in infrastructure, small businesses, and the green finance markets.
Furthermore, under health, two loans are Public Health Systems for Pandemic Preparedness Program (PHSPP) and Enhanced Health Service Delivery Program (EHSDP) are designed to be complementary and transformational in impact.
It will support the Indian government’s reform agenda to accelerate universal coverage, improve quality, and increase the resilience and preparedness of the health system, the World Bank said.
PHSPP will support the government’s efforts to prepare India’s surveillance system to identify and report epidemics of potential international concerns; enhance the capacity to detect pathogens, including zoonotic diseases; strengthen coordination and build the institutional capacity of core public health institutions.
While EHSDP will support the government’s efforts to strengthen service delivery through a redesigned primary health care model; improve quality of care by supporting the National Quality Assurance Standards certification across Health and Wellness Centers (HWCs), and transform the health sector governance and accountability by strengthening implementation capacity.