A boon of $ 1 billion to India

India’s healthcare sector is set to receive a significant boost with two loans worth $1 billion by the Centre and the World Bank

India’s healthcare sector is set to receive a significant boost with the recent signing of two complementary loans worth $1 billion by the Centre and the World Bank. The primary aim of these loans is to support and enhance the country’s health sector development through the flagship Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM), which seeks to improve the public healthcare infrastructure across India.

Both loans will have a final maturity of 18.5 years, including a grace period of 5 years, and are from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). Additionally, one of the loans will prioritize health service delivery in seven Indian states – Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.

According to the World Bank, India’s life expectancy has increased from 58 in 1990 to 69.8 in 2020, which is higher than the average for the country’s income level. The agreement was signed by Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Auguste Tano Kouamé, Country Director, India, World Bank.

Benefits from the loan

The loans will have numerous benefits for India’s healthcare infrastructure. The $500-million Public Health System for Pandemic Preparedness Programme will support the government’s efforts to prepare the country’s surveillance system to detect and report epidemics of potential international concern, ensure rapid response, and prevent the emergence of pathogens, including zoonotic diseases.

The other loan, the $500-million Enhanced Health Service Delivery Programme, will support the government’s efforts to strengthen service delivery through a redesigned primary healthcare model, improve the quality of care, and transform health sector governance and accountability.

Overall, these loans represent a significant investment in India’s healthcare infrastructure, which will help to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare services across the country, positively impacting the lives of millions of people.

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