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
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.