National Health Policy 2017
The Union Cabinet approved the National Health Policy 2017 in the last week of March 2017. The last health policy was issued 15 years ago in 2002; the new policy shall replace the previous policy. The National Heath Policy 2017 aims at providing healthcare in an “assured manner” to all by tackling current and budding challenges arising from the ever-changing socio-economic, epidemiological and technological circumstances.
The Major Policy Principals are as follows:
- Professionalism, Integrity, and Ethics
- Patient Centered & Quality of Care
- Inclusive Partnerships
- Dynamism and Adaptiveness
The Objectives of the Policy are:
- Progressively achieve Universal Health Coverage
- Reinforcing trust in Public Health Care System
- Align the growth of private health care sector with public health goals
- Specific Quantitative Goals and Objectives:
- Health status and program impact
- Health systems performance and
- Health system strengthening
Highlights of the Policy:
- It seeks to raise public healthcare expenditure to 2.5% of GDP from current 1.4%, with more than two-thirds of those resources going towards primary healthcare.
- It envisions providing a larger package of assured complete primary healthcare through the ‘Health and Wellness Centers’.
- It is a wide-ranging package that will include care for major non-communicable diseases (NCDs), elderly peoples’ healthcare, mental health, analgesic care and rehabilitative care services.
- It proposes limitless/free diagnostics, drugs and emergency and essential healthcare services in all municipal hospitals in order to provide healthcare access in addition to financial protection.
- It hunts for the establishment of regular tracking of disability-adjusted life years (DALY) Index as a measure of the burden of ailment and its major categories trends by 2022.
- Its main objective is to improve and strengthen the regulatory environment by putting in place systems for setting standards and guarantying quality of healthcare.
- It also looks at reforms in the existing regulatory systems both for lessening drugs and devices manufacturing to promote ‘Make in India’ and also restructuring medical education.
- It encourages the development of mid-level service providers, public health care, nurse practitioners to improve the availability of appropriate health human resource.
- It aims to assure the availability of 2 beds per 1000 population to enable access within a golden hour.
- It proposes to increase life expectancy from 67.5 to 70 years by 2025.
- It aims to reduce total fertility rate (TFR) to 2.1 at sub-national and national level by 2025.
- It also aims to reduce mortality rate (MR) of children less than 5 years of age to 23 per 1000 by 2025 and maternal mortality rate (MMR) to 100 by 2020.
- It also aims to lessen infant mortality rate to 28 by 2019 and reduce neonatal mortality to 16 and stillbirth rate to ‘single digit’ by 2025.
Impact on Gross Domestic Product:
The policy proposes raising public health expenditure to 2.5 per cent of the GDP in a time-bound manner. According to the Health Minister, the 2.5 per cent of GDP spend target for this sector would be met by 2025.
The Union Cabinet approved the scheme of National Health Policy 2017 after having postponed it twice before. The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi said, “The National Health policy marks a historic moment in our endeavor to create a healthy India where everyone has access to quality healthcare.”