National Health Policy, 2017
The Union Cabinet chaired has approved the National Health Policy, 2017.
The main objective of the National Health Policy, 2017 is to achieve the highest possible level of well-being, which is to be achieved through a preventive and promotive health care orientation in all developmental policies. Along with this enabling universal access to health care services for all without facing financial hardships.
The broad principles of the policy are centered on professionalism, equity, affordability, universality, patient centered quality care, accountability and pluralism.
Objectives of the policy:
- Focus on preventive and promotive health care
- Universal access to good quality health care services at affordable cost
- Problems and solutions are looked at with a holistic perspective with the private sector as strategic partners
- Promote quality of care and focus on emerging diseases
- The policy is patient centric and policy driven and addresses health security and Make in India for drugs and devices
- The policy aims towards strengthening and prioritizing the role of the government in shaping health systems
- The policy focuses on pre-emptive care (aimed at preventing the occurrence of diseases) to achieve optimum levels of child and adolescent health
Ways to achieve these objectives:
- To provide access and financial protection at secondary and tertiary levels, the policy proposes free drugs, free diagnostics and free emergency care services in all public hospitals
- Strategic purchase of secondary and tertiary care services as a short-term measure to supplement and fill critical gaps in the health system
- The enhanced role of the government will be based on public spending and establishing a public healthcare system that is comprehensive, integrated and accessible to all
- The policy advocates a positive and proactive engagement with the private sector towards achieving national objectives. It envisages private sector collaboration for capacity building, skill development programmes, awareness generation, developing sustainable networks and strengthening mental health services, and disaster management
- Assigns specific quantitative targets which are aimed at reducing incidences of prevalence of diseases
- It seeks to strengthen the surveillance system and establish registries for diseases that are significant from public health perspective by 2020
- School health programmes are envisaged as a major focus area with emphasis on health and hygiene
- The policy supports voluntary service in rural and under-served areas by recognizing healthcare professionals under a giving back to society initiative
- Extensive deployment of digital tools for improving the efficiency and outcome of healthcare systems and establishment of National Digital Health Authority (NDHA)