Union Government approves National Health Policy 2017
It envisages providing larger package of assured comprehensive primary health care through the ‘Health and Wellness Centers’.
Union Health Minister J P Nadda on 15 March 2017 launched the National Health Policy 2017 with an aim to provide healthcare in an assured manner to all, particularly to the undeserved and underprivileged.
The policy proposes raising public health expenditure to 2.5 per cent of the GDP in a time bound manner.
Highlights of the National Health Policy 2017
• It envisages providing larger package of assured comprehensive primary health care through the ‘Health and Wellness Centers’.
• It aims at ensuring availability of 2 beds per 1000 population in hospitals to enable access within golden hour, the first hour after a traumatic injury, when emergency treatment is most likely to be successful.
• In order to provide access and financial protection, the policy proposes free drugs, free diagnostics and free emergency and essential healthcare services in all public hospitals.
• It seeks to increase life expectancy at birth from 67.5 to 70 by 2025 and reduce infant mortality rate to 28 by 2019.
• It also seeks to achieve and maintain elimination status of Leprosy by 2018, Kala-Azar by 2017 and Lymphatic Filariasis in endemic pockets by this year.
• It also looks at reforms in the existing regulatory system both for easing manufacturing of drugs and devices to promote Make in India and also for reforming medical education.
• It informs and prioritizes the role of the government in shaping health systems in all its dimensions -investment in health, organisation and financing of healthcare services and prevention of diseases.
• It also advocates development of cadre of mid level service providers, nursing practitioners and public health cadre to improve availability of appropriate health human resource.
• It gives special focus on tackling non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and associated deaths rising.
• It suggests that the government must amend laws to align them with the current healthcare scenario.