India is to introduce online payments for all medical procedures, as part of an ambitious push to provide healthcare services to more people.
The move, which is expected to bring savings on the part of healthcare institutions, could boost patient access to care and save hospitals money, which could help the government avoid a public health crisis.
Under the new policy, hospitals and health centres that already accept mobile payments could begin accepting payments as early as March 2019.
The move could be seen as a further step to cut costs as hospitals and clinics struggle to meet patient demand and a lack of financial resources.
India, the world’s biggest consumer of health care, has seen a massive rise in health-care costs, and as the population ages, hospitals are expected to take up the burden of managing the ageing population.
The National Commission for Health Reform (NCHR) on Monday released a proposal to the ministry of health to allow private hospitals and medical institutions to accept mobile payment payments for healthcare services.
The NCHR will review the proposal when it meets next week, said the Health Ministry.
The health ministry has also asked private hospitals to adopt a payment system that will ensure that patients pay their hospital bills in advance and receive their services within two months, and that all payments are made through a bank account.
The proposed change is expected as soon as next week. Read more: