Draft National Health Policy -2015

Provisions of Draft National Health Policy 2015

  • Proposed a target of raising public health expenditure to 2.5 % from the present 1.2% of GDP. It also notes that 40% of this would need to come from central expenditure.
  • The draft policy suggests making health a fundamental right similar to education and denial of the same could be punishable. The Centre shall enact, after due discussion and on the request of three or more states a National Health Rights Act, which will ensure health as a fundamental right, whose denial will be justiciable.
  • Government plans to rely mostly on general taxation for financing health care expenditure.
  • Creation of a health cess on the lines of education cess for raising money needed to fund the expenditure it would entail.
  • While there is an intent to increase spend on health care, the draft policy also stresses on the role of private sector. While the public sector is to focus on preventive and secondary care services, the document recommends contracting out services like ambulatory care, imaging and diagnostics, tertiary care down to non-medical services such as catering and laundry to the private sector.
  • assures universal access to free drugs and diagnostics in government-run hospitals. However, it proposes to pose public health system as pre-paid services instead of social service.
The draft document highlights the urgent need to improve the performance of health systems,
  • with focus on improving maternal mortality rate,
  • controlling infectious diseases,
  • tackling the growing burden of non-communicable diseases,
  • bringing down medical expenses among other things.
Step in Right Direction
  • First step in achieving universal health coverage
  • Advocating health as a fundamental right whose denial will be justifiable
  • Increased government spending in health care
The Draft National Health Policy 2015 fails to tackle head-on the core problem of the Indian health system: its management, administration and overall governance structure. Critically examine. (200 Words)
The draft national health policy 2015 has a vision for the long term health strategy for the country. This health policy covers wide variety of issues including-
  1. Low public health expenditure.
  2. Inequity in access of health services.
  3. Poor quality of care.
  4. No proper reach to rural areas.
This policy also provides for the recommendations to solve these problems but the draft policy had failed to tackle the core problems of Indian health system.
  1. Management– the management of the financial resources has been the problem of health sector. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, even with the lower spending then India have resulted in better outcomes and even in India, different states have different outcomes which have been due to the handling of management. The proper management is key to revive health sector.
  2. Administration– it has been found that the effectiveness of public health- child and infant survival, attended births, immunization coverage and birth weight is negatively correlated with the corruption in system. The local health administration must be robust which also effect the nurse attendance and workers.
  3. Governance– governance structures need to balance
  4. Responsibility- responsibility  shall be fixed for the particular services by government for its better functioning.
  5. Flexibility- managers/bureaucrats must have radical approach according to situation to be flexible enough inside the regulations to provide better services.
  6. Accountability- an independent board of directors can be appointed which includes health secretary for the expansion of public delivery in primary and preventive healthcare in India.
Thus, though a better move to provide sophisticated services in health sector by government, these basic structures must also be taken care of to provide make it much better.



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