After 14 years, the government of India has introduced a new health policy. With the constant rise of communicable and infectious diseases, the health needs of people keep changing. This demands a change in health policies to control and eradicate those diseases. The new health policy 2017 aims to prioritize and strengthen the Government's role in molding the health care system. It also targets to develop strategies to enhance financial support, health assurance and regulations. Most health procedures and treatments that involve advanced medicine and technology are expensive for the common man. People at an average spend 40% of their income on non-food expenditure, which includes healthcare. The NHP 2017 also plans to provide health support affordable to the Indian citizens.

Policy Thrust

The policy suggests a good rise of 2.5% GDP of the public health expenditure in a short period. The general tax is a source of financing care. The government is planning increased tax on specific commodities such as tobacco, alcohol and non-healthy food products to improve healthcare. It is to ensure adequate investment for the policy to address health goals.

Policy Prevention and Promoting Health

There are seven priority areas in which the policy will take action to improve the environment for health:

In all the above mentioned seven fields, there is a need for the development of strategy and institutional mechanism. A social movement for health will be created to develop strategy and institutional mechanism, which is known as Swasth Nagrik Abhiyaan.

To offer excellent healthcare to the vulnerable sections of the society like the poor, the old and the disabled, community support is very essential. The policy commends to strengthen the Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee (VHSNC) and its equivalent in the urban areas.

How to Organize Public Health Care Delivery?

A policy shift is necessary to organize healthcare services. The NHP proposes the following seven policy shifts:

Primary care - Free primary care by the government which includes particular care from both public and the private sector. Primary health care will be known as "Health and Wellness Services." The policy recommends centers at all geographical locations for easy access.

Secondary and Tertiary care - To assure healthcare services from in-patient to an output based strategic purchasing in a tie-up with both public and private hospital sectors. Essential secondary care services like Cesarean and neonatal care to be provided. Public health system at a primary level will be based on a feedback and follow-up mechanism.

Public hospitals- The policy aims for primary healthcare at a general hospital to reduced and cost-effective patient fees. The policy also provides universal access to drugs, diagnostic and emergency services to all for free.

Infrastructure and human resource development - The health policy is stepping into the 12th five-year plan to develop support and human resources. The most important aim of the NHP 2017 is to improve the healthcare quality and provide equal care to all the sectors. From a normative to targeted approach the policy aims to reach under-serviced regions.

Urban healthcare - This care covers needy people such as rag-pickers, street children, and rickshaw drivers and the like. Organizing Primary Health Care delivery and referral support for poor from token interventions to on-scale assured responses are done with National Urban Health Mission (NUHM). Collaboration with other sectors is to address broader determinants of health such as air pollution, water quality and occupational safety.

National health programmes - The national health policy integrates with national health programmes such as National Ayush Mission (NAM), Janani Suraksha Yoghana (JSY), and so on, to provide more integrated, personalized and strengthened healthcare. They also aim to prevent health disaster and improve medical security.

AYUSH services - The policy thrusts to work in a three-dimensional work-stream which includes National Health Policy - General Health System - AYUSH. General medicine, AYUSH services such as yoga, herbal plants, among others, are considered along with general healthcare to provide adequate healthcare.


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