National Health Policy, 2002

The National Health Policy’2002 gives importance to ensure more equitable access to health services across the social and geographical territory of the country. It calls for a strong primary health network in rural India. Emphasis has been given to increase the aggregate public health investment through a substantially increased contribution by the Central Government. Priority has been given to preventive and curative initiatives through increased sectoral share of allocation. The highlights of the policy are:

  1. Increase health sector expenditure to 6 percent of GDP, with 2 percent of GDP being contributed as public health investment as early as possible.
  2. The gradual convergence of all health programmes under a single field administration. Vertical programmes for control of major diseases like TB, Malaria, HIV/ AIDS, as also the Reproductive and Child Health and Universal Immunization Programmes, would need to be continued till moderate levels of prevalence are reached.
  3. Panchayat bodies to be involved more in health care programmes.
  4. The setting up of an organized urban primary health care structure is contemplated with a two-tiered centre: the primary center is seen as the first-tier, covering a population of one lakh, and a second tier of the urban health organization at the level of government general hospital.
  5. The upgrading of the physical infrastructure of mental hospitals/institutions at Central Government expenses so as to secure the human rights of this vulnerable segment of society.
  6. Giving priority to schools health programmes which aim at preventive health education, providing regular health check-up.
  7. Baseline estimates for the incidence of the common diseases’TB, Malaria, blindness would be handled as early as possible. Baseline estimates for non communicable diseases, like CVD, cancer, diabetes and accidental injuries and communicable diseases like Hepatitis would also be complied.
  8. The highest priority of the Central Government is to the funding of the identified programmes relating to woman’s health.
  9. A comprehensive code of ethics be notified and rigorously implemented by the Medical Council of India. The establishment of statutory professional councils for paramedical disciplines to register practioners, maintain standards of training and monitor performance.
  10. The periodic screening of the health conditions of the workers, particularly for high-risk health disorders associated with their occupation, would be undertaken. It has been more than a decade since the declaration of the national health policy.

The two national health missions, one for the rural India and another for the urban India have been launched in 2005. Both the missions lay emphasis on accessible, affordable and accountable quality health services to the poorest. The child health programmes such as Navjat Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram, the mother and child tracking system, universal immunization programme, pulse polio immunization are to be launched from time to time. The health insurance scheme, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna, Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna are already in operation. TheBJP-led NDA government (2014) is committed to achieve a holistic healthcare system, promoting the new health policy, promotion of yoga in AYUSH, emphasis on cleanliness: ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, priority on health and nutritional standards etc.

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