NHP aims to boost nation’s health
Terming the Cabinet approval of the National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 as a milestone in the history of public health in the country, Health Minister J P Nadda on Thursday said it seeks to ‘assured health to all’.
The NHP-2017 which was cleared by the Cabinet on Wednesday seeks to rope in private sector in a big way to strengthen the primary healthcare setup while aiming to provide assured health services to people as an ‘entitlement’ and not as a legal right as was proposed in the draft policy.
Nadda said the NHP 2017, which is patient-centric and quality-driven, provides the much needed policy framework for achieving universal health coverage and delivering quality healthcare services to all at an affordable cost. The last NHP was framed in 2002.
“The previous policy was sick-care centric and focused on treatment of communicable diseases but the NHP-17 aims to tackle non-communicable diseases which are on rise. It envisages mainstreaming the different health systems with better access to alternate Indian traditional system,” the Minister added.
Elaborating on its salient features, Nadda said the
policy advocates financial and non-financial incentives for encouraging the private
sector participation besides advocating a progressively incremental assurance-based approach.
It proposes raising public health expenditure to 2.5 per cent of the GDP in a time bound manner and advocates allocating major proportion (upto two-thirds or more) of resources to primary care followed by secondary and tertiary care while proposing free drugs, free diagnostics and free emergency care services in all public hospitals. Nadda said that there were no plans to impose health cess as was being reported in some section of media.
Appreciating the Government’s emphasis on creating awareness about NCDs, Dr K E Thorpe, Chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease said “The policy is a clear indication of the government’s long-term commitment to find sustainable solutions to address the growing burden of NCDs as well as the recognition of its socio-economic impact.”
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