Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the health ministry to set up mechanisms to link both Centre and State governments’ numerous health care schemes and to ensure more accountability for doctors and health officials in the public sector.
“In order to achieve the desired goal of health for all, there is a need to substantially improve the efficiency of existing mechanisms and schemes,” the prime minister said while chairing a meeting on healthcare.
Giving the example of insurance, he called for establishing synergy in all schemes for the health sector being run by the central and state governments.
Reviewing the progress of key health indicators such as under-five mortality rate and Maternal Mortality Ratio, Modi asked for specific identification of worst-performing districts, and even within them, particular blocks which required maximum attention.
He said these areas should be targeted in a two-pronged approach — prioritized health intervention and appropriate social interventions — to dispel local beliefs and customs that may be hindering progress.
Espousing innovative methods of creating health awareness, the prime minister said animation films should be shown to women in health centres immediately post-delivery, to promote good health and nutrition habits.
He said simple technology interventions such as SMS should be used to reach ASHA workers across the country on a real-time basis.
Modi said the effects of ‘Swachhta Abhiyan’ (clean India initiative) should also become visible in hospitals and public health facilities across the country.
The prime minister also asked for a comprehensive audit of all medical equipment in public health facilities.
Describing Yoga as one of the most-effective preventive health mechanisms, he asked the health ministry to draw up plans for International Yoga Day on June 21.
Expressing acute concern about the prevalence of diseases like encephalitis, especially among children, he asked officials to prepare a roadmap to tackle such diseases, just like natural disasters and other national calamities are tackled.
Modi also called for institutionalizing a comprehensive database, containing individual health records, which could be eventually linked to the Aadhar system.