India’s government is considering a bill to build a total health system that will cover about 1.8 billion people, according to an official.
India is the world’s second-largest health care consumer with nearly one-fifth of its population living in the developing world, but it has yet to set up a national total health plan.
The bill, expected to be introduced in the next week or so, aims to help people living in poverty get the care they need.
The total health bill will be the most expensive in the world.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that the cost of a single hospital bed in India will run up to around $5,000, but the total bill is likely to be much higher.
The bill will come with major political implications, according an official in the Indian government.
The proposal would be part of the budget in the 2019-2020 fiscal year that begins on January 1.
The plan will be introduced after a long-delayed proposal for a national system of health care for the poor was tabled in the Rajya Sabha last year.
That plan was later rejected by the Rajasthan assembly.
The government has been pushing to set the total health insurance coverage as the national standard in the wake of the pandemic.
Its healthcare minister, Dr. Anil Ambani, has made health insurance one of the major political priorities in his government.
Ambani, however, has been criticized for not offering enough details on how the system would work, including how it would be financed.
India is the only country in the OECD that does not offer universal health insurance.