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National Health Policy, 2017

National Health Policy, 2017: Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in its meeting on 15th March 2017, has approved the National Health Policy, 2017 (NHP, 2017). Making a statement in the House a day after the Union Cabinet approved the policy, he said it seeks to move healthcare away from sick care to wellness, with a thrust on prevention and health promotion.

About National Health Policy, 2017:

  • It aims at achieving universal health coverage and delivering quality health care services to all at affordable cost.
  • The main objective of the National Health Policy 2017 is to achieve the highest possible level of good health and well-being, through a preventive and promotive health care orientation in all developmental policies, and to achieve universal access to good quality health care services without anyone having to face financial hardship as a consequence.
  • National Health Policy would aim at increasing life expectancy to 70 years from 67.5.
  • Reduce fertility rate to 2.1 by 2025.
  • Proposes free diagnostics and drugs at all public hospitals.
  • NHP, 2017 advocates a positive and proactive engagement with the private sector for critical gap filling towards achieving national goals. 
  • The broad principles of the policy is centered on Professionalism, Integrity and Ethics, Equity, Affordability, Universality, Patient Centered & Quality of Care, Accountability and pluralism.
  • In order to leverage the pluralistic health care legacy, the policy recommends mainstreaming the different health systems. Towards mainstreaming the potential of AYUSH the policy envisages better access to AYUSH remedies through co-location in public facilities. 
  • Yoga would also be introduced much more widely in school and work places as part of promotion of good health.
  • The policy advocates extensive deployment of digital tools for improving the efficiency and outcome of the healthcare system and proposes establishment of National Digital Health Authority (NDHA) to regulate, develop and deploy digital health across the continuum of care.
  • Government of India formulated the Draft National Health Policy and placed it in public domain on 30th December, 2014. Thereafter following detailed consultations with the stakeholders and State Governments, based on the suggestions received, the Draft National Health Policy was further fine-tuned. It received the endorsement of the Central Council for Health & Family Welfare, the apex policy making body, in its Twelfth Conference held on 27th February, 2016.
  • The last health policy was formulated in 2002.