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National health policy aims to reduce treatment costs, expand access of medical facilities: Health Secretary

Observing That Public Health Has Been “sidestepped' Over The Years In The Country, He, However, Said There Is A Need To Appreciate The Good Work That Has Been Done.

PTI | Updated on: 28 Mar 2017, 08:42:20 AM
National health policy aims to reduce treatment costs


National Health Policy has three main objectives of Expanding access of medical facilities, reducing treatment costs and improving, as informed by a top government official on Monday.

“There are three things the Health Policy sets out to achieve. One, expand access. Two, make it affordable and three, improve quality. Everything that you see in the health policy is built around these three themes,” said Union Health Secretary C K Mishra.

In a major departure from the past, the policy strongly recognises the role of the private sector in expanding health care, he said.

Also Read: PM Modi terms National Health Policy 'futuristic'; marks occasion historic

However, the policy stresses on large amount of provisioning, he said. “In fact, the policy says two-thirds of resources should ideally go to primary health care.”

The policy states that public spend on health would be raised to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025 (up from about 1.15 per cent now), he said, delivering the Foundation Day lecture of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) here.

Recalling that the last policy was announced in 2002, Mishra said major changes, in terms of disease profile, epidemiology, have taken place since then.

For the first time, the policy talked about specific targets of elimination of certain diseases kala-azar this year, leprosy by next year and the “very ambitious” target of eliminating TB by 2025, the Health Secretary said.

The government is aware of the challenges in the sector burden of diseases and availability of human resource and efforts are on to address them, he said.

Mishra was speaking on the topic ‘Reducing Health inequities in India: Role of Central and State Governments’.

Also Read | Modi Govt unveils National Health Policy 2017, first of its kind to transform health care in India: Here are key highlights

Observing that public health has been “sidestepped” over the years in the country, he, however, said there is a need to appreciate the good work that has been done.

He cited the examples of sharp reduction in IMR (infant mortality rate), MMR (maternal mortality ratio), elimination of polio, low mortality due to TB and malaria as some of the success stories.

“Therefore, I very strongly feel, as a country when we criticise ourselves, we must stand up and celebrate success as well,” he maintained.

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First Published : 28 Mar 2017, 08:33:00 AM

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