“We have been working with lot of positive energy and missionary zeal for AB PM-JAY scheme which has revolutionized the public health sector in India” says, Geetali Tare, Financial Advisor, National Health Authority (NHA) in an exclusive interview.
As she completes her tenure at NHA, Ms Geetali Tare returns to her parent cadre at Controller General Auditor of India (CAG) with a new role and responsibility
Can you put some light that how do you started with NHA? Share your journey with NHA?
I joined National Health Authority on 14th August 2018. That time, we were operating from Nirman Bhawan from where Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare functions. We were a small team of 30 odd people. Since then, we have been working with lot of positive energy and missionary zeal for AB PM-JAY which has revolutionized the public health sector in India.
At Nirman Bhawan, we were allotted with three rooms. One was allotted to CEO, the other one was allotted to Deputy CEO and the third room where remaining staff used to sit. We used to work for 16-18 hours a day and sometime standing and holding laptops in our hands. There used to be a daily standup meeting with the CEO to discuss the strategies and meet the set target to complete the tasks in a time bound manner.
For me, working with the National Health Authority was like working in a start-up. So, there was very wonderful energy and positive feeling.
At the same time, there was a lot of scepticism that how PM-JAY would do. But, we were very confident that we have to make a PM-JAY a grand success. And today, Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY has expanded its footprints across India by serving more than 2 crore poor and vulnerable people with free and cashless medical treatment.
What challenges did you come across?
In my previous roles, I have had a big team to perform my duties. But when I joined NHA, it was still in developmental stage. Here in my team, I started working with only a one person. Then gradually, we build a finance team with 11 people. Another challenge was to make sure that NHA operates in a transparent way and bound to the rules laid down by Govt of India.
How NHA has benefitted people across the country?
I am glad to say that in the last three years more than 2.2 crore people have received the treatment. This shows that we have a long way to go because our target is to provide medical care benefit over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families (apprx. 54 crore individuals). Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY has given confidence to poor and vulnerable people that they can receive free and affordable treatment from best of corporate hospitals across India.
What do you like about NHA?
About NHA, I like the working model that there are some employees are from corporate while other are from government bodies. NHA has proved to be a role model for other government organization as we have shown how well we have worked together. Each one of us used to bring expertise, experience and used to work for a common goal. Another good thing about NHA is that it utilizes the skills and talent of of youth employees and they bring lot of good energy and new ideas which when combined with the experiences of the senior officer, gives NHA a very good trajectory.
How do you see NHA growing?
I feel that all the resources should be used in most judicious and economically way for the purpose. All the money which is allocated to States should be spend for the progress of the scheme and benefiting the beneficiary.
What are your suggestions for the scheme?
We are on the right track in terms of growth of the PM-JAY scheme. We should work harder to promote the scheme at the grassroot level and I hope that NHA achieve its achieve its target of Universal Health Coverage. Moreover, NHA has emerged as a role model for public private partnership in India. I wish all the very best to the NHA and keep on working with same zeal.