Why National Health Policy Needs Revamp?

Every party when it comes to power, focuses on health and a national health policy on the lines of the robust UK’s NHS remained an elusive subject in India owing to Centre-State politics. Heath comes under the State List and the Centre merely provides funds but very often these funds dwindle over a period of time, depending on various factors.

However, in the light of new win in assembly elections of UP, Goa and Manipur, the BJP government has decided to revamp its health policy and the minister proposed National Health Policy 2017 that proposed free medicines, free diagnostics and free emergency care services in all government hospitals.

Since this goal is not achievable, the same National Health Policy has also reiterated that its target is to provide universal access to good quality healthcare services at affordable costs.

The policy was approved on Thursday by the Union Cabinet and Health Minister J.P. Nadda in the Lok Sabha that the new NHS provides hope to all for quality healthcare. "This policy looks at problems and solutions holistically with private sector as strategic partner. It seeks to promote quality of care, focus is on emerging diseases and investment in promotive and preventive healthcare," he said.

To begin with the NHP seeks to spend 2.5% of GDP on health sector from the current less than 2%. per cent of the Gross Domestic Product in a time-bound manner. Stating that the policy is patient-centric and quality-driven, Nadda said: "The policy envisages strategic purchase of secondary and tertiary care services as a short-term measure to supplement and fill critical gaps in the health system.

"It envisages private sector collaboration for strategic purchasing, capacity building, skill development programmes, awareness generation, developing sustainable networks for community to strengthen mental health services, and disaster management. The policy also advocates financial and non-incentives for encouraging the private sector participation."

The National Health Policy received the endorsement of the Central Council for Health & Family Welfare, the apex policy making body, in its 12th Conference held on February 27, 2016. Overall, the NHP underwent several changes since it was first formulated in 2002.

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