The National Health Policy 2017 aims at achieving universal health coverage and delivering quality health care services to all at affordable cost. Discuss the main provisions of policy in this regard and highlight any shortcomings.

The National Health Policy 2017 aims at achieving universal health coverage and delivering quality health care services to all at affordable cost. Discuss the main provisions of policy in this regard and highlight any shortcomings.

Approach:

  • Briefly introduce NHP 2017
  • Discuss the main provisions of NHP
  • Then also give its shortcomings
  • Conclude with a futuristic approach
Model Answer :

 

The National Health Policy seeks to reach everyone in an integrated way to move towards wellness. It seeks to promote quality of care, with focus on emerging diseases and investment in preventive healthcare.

Main provisions of policy:

  • It proposes free drugs, free diagnostics and free emergency care services in all public hospitals.
  • It prioritizes the role of the Government in shaping health systems in all its dimensions.
  • It advocates a positive and proactive engagement with the private sector for critical gap filling towards achieving national goals.
  • The policy proposes raising public health expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP in a time bound manner.
  • The policy envisages providing larger package of assured comprehensive primary health care through the Health and Wellness Centers’.
  • The policy assigns specific quantitative targets aimed at reduction of disease prevalence/incidence, for health status etc.

Various shortcomings in the policy:

  • Public health expenditure target of 2.5% seems to be insufficient with the rising cases of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
  • Right to health which was proposed in the draft is deleted.
  • There is no mention of reforming the regulatory framework for like Medical Council of India etc.
  • Another one is the neglect to incentivize and promote operational research in health sector
  • Also there is lack of clarity in objective, design, financing and incentives.

Even with such limitations, the Health Policy is forward-looking because it does seek to strengthen the infrastructure, capacity, financing and human resources, and envisages a complete overhaul of primary care in a way that will expand its scope and scale to ensure continuity with higher levels of care.

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