Govt plans monetary benefits for private TB doctors, patients

New Delhi, Mar 26: The Centre is mulling incentives for private doctors who treat tuberculosis (TB) patients, and financial benefits and free medicines to those visiting them, under its "aggressive" strategy to eliminate the disease. 

The draft National Strategic Plan (NSP) for TB Elimination (2017-2025), which will be rolled out soon, proposes the benefits which include Rs 2,000 assistance for patients visiting private sector doctors.

Union Health Minister JP Nadda during an event to mark the World TB day on Friday had announced the NSP will be finalised within a month.

TB is India's "severest" health crisis and kills an estimated 1,400 people a day, the NSP draft says. It says the private sector TB care providers will be given incentives to promote TB case notification, ensure treatment adherence and completion. The incentives will be provided upon notification in the TB reporting software - Nikshay.

The incentives to the private sector TB care provider are: Rs 250 on notification of a TB case diagnosed as per standards for TB Care in India (SCTI), Rs 250 on completion of every month of treatment and Rs 500 on completion of entire course of TB treatment, the draft, accessed by PTI, says. 

It also says, for notification and management of a drug- sensitive patient over 6-9 months as per STCI, a private TB care provider will be eligible to receive Rs 2,750. 

"For notification and correct management of a drug- resistant case over 24 months as per STCI, a private provider will be eligible to receive Rs 6,750," it says. 

India also has more than a million "missing" cases every year that are not notified and most remain either undiagnosed or unaccountably and inadequately diagnosed, and treated in the private sector, the draft document says.