21.10        ndian     onom
     Funding: The policy proposes raising public          Background: The Government of India adopted an
     health expenditure to 2.5 per cent of the GDP        elaborate procedure for formulation of the health
     in a time bound manner. It aims at providing         policy. Its Draft was placed in public domain on
     larger package of assured comprehensive primary      30th December 2014. After detailed consultations
     healthcare through the HWCs (Health and              with stakeholders and State Governments, it was
     Wellness Centres).                                   further fine-tuned. Finally, by late February 2016
                                                          it received the endorsement of the Central Council
     Private participation: The idea of universal
                                                          for Health & Family Welfare (the apex policy
     healthcare is very realistic to the time as it has
                                                          making body). Since the last health policy was
     decided to enhance the participation of the private
                                                          announced in 2002, the country has seen much
     sector in a positive and proactive way in achieving
                                                          socio-economic and epidemiological changes.
     the goals of the policy. It envisages private sector
                                                          Besides, there are some burning current challenges
     collaboration for strategic purchasing, capacity
                                                          as well as emerging ones. To address these issues
     building, skill development programmes,
                                                          in holistic and effective way, the Government
     awareness generation, developing sustainable
                                                          needed to come out with a newly designed and
     networks for community to strengthen mental
                                                          contemporary kind of health policy—the outcome
     health services, and disaster management. The
                                                          is the NHP 2017.
     policy also advocates financial and non-incentives
                                                                The newly announced (in the Union Budget
     for encouraging the private sector participation.
                                                          2018-19) National Health Protection Scheme
     Quantitative targets: The policy assigns specific    (NHPS) is a historic step in this regard. The
     quantitative targets aimed at reduction of disease   scheme aims to cover over 10 crore poor and
     prevalence/incidence, for health status and          vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore
     programme impact, health system performance          beneficiaries) providing coverage upto Rs. 5 lakh
     and system strengthening. It seeks to strengthen     per family per year for secondary and tertiary care
     the health, surveillance system and establish        hospitalisation.
     registries for diseases of public health importance,
     by 2020. It also seeks to align other policies for       5. AfTereffecTS of DemoNeTiSATioN
     medical devices and equipment with public health
     goals.                                               introDuction
     Regulatory mechanism: The policy advocates           Early November 2016, the Government announced
     extensive deployment of digital tools for            a historic measure, with profound implications for
     improving the efficiency and outcome of the          the economy—the largest denomination currency
     healthcare system and proposes establishment of      notes, Rs 500 and Rs 1000, were demonetised.
     National Digital Health Authority (NDHA) to          Eighty-six per cent of the cash in circulation thus
     regulate, develop and deploy digital health across   became invalid. According to the Government,
     the continuum of care.                               this was aimed to serve four objectives5:
     Voluntary support: The policy supports                      (i) Curbing corruption;
     voluntary service in rural and under-served areas         (ii) Counterfeiting of currencies;
     on pro-bono (free of charge) basis by recognised
                                                              5.    The write-up is primarily based on the Economic Survey
     healthcare professionals under a ‘giving back to               2016-17 and the primary sources of the Government of
     society’ initiative.                                           India released till March 2017.