The Union Cabinet have approved the National Health Policy, which proposes to provide “assured health services to all” in the country at an affordable cost. The main objective of the policy is to achieve the highest possible level of good health and well-being, through a preventive and promotive health care orientation in all developmental policies, and to achieve universal access to good quality health care services without anyone having to face financial hardship as a consequence.
The following are the salient features of the National Health Policy
- It aims 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 envisages providing a larger package of assured comprehensive primary health care through the ‘Health and Wellness Centers’.
- It is a comprehensive package that will include care for major non-communicable diseases (NCDs), geriatric healthcare, mental health, palliative care and rehabilitative care services.
- It proposes free diagnostics, free drugs and free emergency and essential healthcare services in all public hospitals in order to provide health care access and financial protection.
- It seeks to establish regular tracking of disability-adjusted life years (DALY) Index as a measure of the burden of disease and its major categories trends by 2022.
- It aims to improve and strengthen the regulatory environment by putting in place systems for setting standards and ensuring the quality of healthcare.
- It also looks at reforms in the existing regulatory systems both for easing drugs and devices manufacturing to promote Make in India and also reforming medical education.
- It advocates the development of mid-level service providers, public health cadre, nurse practitioners to improve the availability of appropriate health human resource.
- Targets: It aims to ensure availability of 2 beds per 1000 population to enable access within the 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 under 5 years of age to 23 per 1000 by 2025 and maternal mortality rate (MMR) to 100 by 2020.
- It also aims to reduce infant mortality rate to 28 by 2019 and reduce neonatal mortality to 16 and stillbirth rate to ‘single digit’ by 2025.
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