The Union Union Cabinet approved the National Health Policy 2017. It will replace the previous policy which was framed 15 years ago in 2002.
It aims at providing healthcare in an “assured manner” to all by addressing current and emerging challenges arising from the ever changing socio-economic, epidemiological and technological scenarios.
Highlights of National Health Policy, 2017
- It aims to raise public healthcare expenditure to 2.5% of GDP from current 1.4%, with more than two-thirds of those resources going towards primary healthcare.
- It envisages providing a larger package of assured comprehensive primary healthcare through the ‘Health and Wellness Centers’.
- It is a comprehensive package that will include care for major non-communicable diseases (NCDs), geriatric healthcare, mental health, palliative care and rehabilitative care services.
- It proposes free diagnostics, free drugs and free emergency and essential healthcare services in all public hospitals in order to provide healthcare access and financial protection.
- It seeks to establish regular tracking of disability adjusted life years (DALY) Index as a measure of burden of disease and its major categories trends by 2022.
- It aims to improve and strengthen the regulatory environment by putting in place systems for setting standards and ensuring quality of healthcare.
- It also looks at reforms in the existing regulatory systems both for easing drugs and devices manufacturing to promote Make in India and also reforming medical education.
- It advocates development of mid-level service providers, public health cadre, nurse practitioners to improve availability of appropriate health human resource.
- Targets: It aims to ensure availability of 2 beds per 1000 population to enable access within golden hour. It proposes to increase life expectancy from 67.5 to 70 years by 2025.
- It aims to reduce total fertility rate (TFR) to 2.1 at sub-national and national level by 2025.
- It also aims to reduce mortality rate (MR) of children under 5 years of age to 23 per 1000 by 2025 and maternal mortality rate (MMR) to 100 by 2020.
- It also aims to reduce infant mortality rate to 28 by 2019 and reduce neo-natal mortality to 16 and still birth rate to ‘single digit’ by 2025.