J P Nadda, Union Health Minister
has said that the government is taking efforts to make cheaper drugs available
to the public is the focus in place. He acknowledged the fact that affordable
quality healthcare has become a challenge to the poorer sections of the
"A list of essential medicines is
being made and the government is working towards providing such medicines at a
cheaper rate," Nadda told reporters after delivering his address at the
'Global Health Summit: Access and Affordable Healthcare for People of India',
organised by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI).
Nadda says that the draft of the National Health Policy is available on the website and appeals to the people to
step forward and provide their comments, suggestions. He also said that the
policy concentrates on the rural areas of India and that the country needs
promotion of preventive healthcare. Shifting the focus from sick-care to
hospitalisation care is much necessary.
"We are trying to make states more aware of healthcare facilities. We are
very serious about malnutrition in tribal areas. We are talking to states and
are trying to understand their problems. But it is up to the states to finally
implement Central government's policies," he said.
"It is a known fact that every
year, the pharma companies are sponsoring the tours, stays in five star hotels
and offering gifts and other incentives benefits to doctors for prescribing the
branded drugs. While on one hand the government is urging the doctors to
prescribe generic drugs, majority doctors in corporate, private clinics and
even in government hospitals are prescribing branded drugs. Because of this,
the common man is not able to bear the growing healthcare costs and getting
buried debts," opined a senior retired drug control administration officer.