rnin    o io    onomi ss es         21.9
     To implement such a policy, the Government                   Approach change: The policy denotes important
     needs to put in place a great many physical and              change from very selective to comprehensive
     non-physical support systems, such as number of              primary healthcare package which includes
     hospitals, adequate number of personnel, medical             geriatric healthcare, palliative care and rehabilitative
     colleges, nursing institutes, health insurance,              care services. The policy advocates allocating
     public deliveries of vaccines and medicines; etc.            major proportion (up to two-thirds or more) of
     naming the major ones. To implement such a                   resources to primary care followed by secondary
     policy mobilising the required financial resources           and tertiary care. The policy aspires to provide at
     has been the biggest challenge for the governments.          the district level most of the secondary care which
                                                                  is currently provided at a medical college hospital.
     Developing a financial model was the need of the
     hour.                                                        Broad principle: The broad principle of the
                                                                  policy is centred on Professionalism, Integrity and
     going for the iDeA                                           Ethics, Equity, Affordability, Universality, Patient
                                                                  Cantered & Quality of Care, Accountability and
     After almost two years of consultations with
                                                                  Pluralism.
     various stakeholders, the Government of India,
     finally took the final call in the direction of              Affordability: It seeks to ensure improved access
     ‘universal healthcare’ when the National Health              and affordability of quality secondary and tertiary
     Policy 2017 was announced by mid-March 2017.                 care services through a combination of public
     The policy focusses “Preventive and Promotive                hospitals and strategic purchasing in healthcare
     Health Care and Universal access to good quality             deficit areas from accredited non-governmental
                                                                  healthcare providers, achieve significant reduction
     healthcare services”. The major highlights of the
                                                                  in out of pocket expenditure due to healthcare
     policy4 have been discussed below.
                                                                  costs, reinforce trust in public healthcare system
     Primary aim: The primary aim of the policy                   and influence operation and growth of private
     is to inform, clarify, strengthen and prioritise             healthcare industry as well as medical technologies
     the role of the Government in shaping health                 in alignment with public health goals.
     systems in all its dimensions— investment in                 Pluralistic design: To leverage the pluralistic
     health, organisation and financing of healthcare             healthcare legacy, the policy recommends
     services, prevention of diseases and promotion of            mainstreaming the different health systems.
     good health through cross sectoral action, access            Towards mainstreaming the potential of AYUSH
     to technologies, developing human resources,                 the policy envisages better access to AYUSH
     encouraging medical pluralism, building the                  remedies through co-location in public facilities.
     knowledge base required for better health,                   Yoga would also be introduced much more widely
     financial protection strategies and regulation               in school and work places as part of promotion of
     and progressive assurance for health. The policy             good health.
     emphasises reorienting and strengthening the                 Focus on pre-emptive care: The policy affirms
     Public Health Institutions across the country, to            commitment to pre-emptive care (aimed at pre-
     provide universal access to free drugs, diagnostics          empting the occurrence of diseases) to achieve
     and other essential healthcare.                              optimum levels of child and adolescent health.
                                                                  The policy envisages school health programmes as
        4.  The write-up is based on the Economic Survey 2016-17,
            press release from the Government of India and other  a major focus area as also health and hygiene being
            Government sources (till March 2017).                 made a part of the school curriculum.