(The Gist of Kurukshetra) NATIONAL HEALTH POLICY 2017 - KEY HIGHLIGHTS - September - 2017

(The Gist of Kurukshetra) NATIONAL HEALTH POLICY 2017 - KEY HIGHLIGHTS - September - 2017


  • Gradually increasing public health expenditure to 2.5 per cent of GDP
  • Policy Shift in Primary Health Care from selective care to assured comprehensive care. Establishing Health and Wellness Centers to transform PHCs from current limited package of services to larger coverage of noncommunicable diseases.
  • New policy formulation related to noncommunicable diseases and mental health.
  • Retention of doctors in remote areas, health systems strengthening, health technologies development and new institutions for research and development.
  • Strategic Purchases and engagement with private sector for critical gap filling.
  • Moving towards an assurance based approach, increasing access, affordability and quality.

National Health Policy (NHP), 2017

The primary aim of the NHP is to strengthen and prioritize the role of the Government in shaping health systems, make additional investments in health, healthcare services, prevention of diseases and promotion of good health. The NHP seeks to raise the health sector spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP, create patient centric institutions, empower the patients and lay down standards for quality of treatment. It also seeks to strengthen health
infrastructure to 2 beds per 1000 population and provide free drugs, free diagnostics and essential health care in all public hospitals. The NHP's key goals are to improve the life expectancy at birth from 67.5 years to 70 years by 2025 and reduce the infant mortality to 28 by 2018. The other goals are elimination of Leprosy, Kala Azar and Filariasis by 2017-18. From a baseline of 560 in 1990, the Nation has achieved an MMR of 167 in 2011. From a baseline of 126 in 1990, the Nation has achieved an US MR of 39 in 2014. The challenges remain in the six large States of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh, which account for 42 per cent of national population and 56 per cent of annual population increase.

Government has initiated policy interventions for implementing the NHP. Union Budget 2017 for health shows an appreciable increase of more than 27 per cent, from Rs. 37,061.55 Cr in 2016-17 to Rs. 47,352.51 Cr. India has a vast organization for public health care delivery and Primary care services. The NHP lists infrastructure and human resource development in Primary and Secondary Care Hospitals as a key priority area. The Government in the 2017 Union Budget has sought to upgrade 1.5 lakh health sub-centers to health wellness centers
and introduce a nationwide scheme for pregnant women under which, Rs. 6000/- for each case will be transferred. To conclude, it can be said that the significant.

The NHP places a lot of emphasis on human resources as a vital component of India's health care. 5000 Post Graduate seats per annum have been created to ensure adequate availability of specialist doctors to strengthen secondary and tertiary levels of healthcare. The increased availability of PG seats along with a centralized entrance exam represent major steps in reform of medical education in the country. The expansion of postgraduate medical education is a priority as the shortage of PG medical seats in the country affects not only the availability of specialist doctors, but also the ease of getting faculty for medical colleges. The introduction of a uniform entrance examination at undergraduate and post-graduate level has brought transparency to medical education. The Medical Council of India Amendment Act 2016 introduced a common merit based entrance examination at National level. Government has notified the increase in postgraduate seats in 435 medical colleges with the objective of increasing the number of specialist doctors in India.

The NHP has placed a lot of emphasis on Digital Initiatives. Online registration system has been introduced in 71 hospitals of India as part of the Digital India initiative. Digitization of public hospitals had enabled a reduction of patient wait times and freed clinician times. A patient centric feedback system called Mera Aspataal has been introduced. The data sets of Mera Aspataal have f lagged the important areas for patient

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