National Health Policy, 2017 (NHP) – Salient Features, Important Points and Major Highlights
The Union Cabinet of India has approved the National Health Policy, 2017 on 15th March, 2017. 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.
The National Health Policy 2017 envisages raising public health expenditure progressively to 2.5% of the GDP by 2025.
Important Points and Major Highlights of the National Health Policy, 2017 are below:
Major Highlights of National Health Policy, 2017
- Assurance Based Approach – Policy advocates progressively incremental Assurance based Approach with focus on preventive and preemptive healthcare
- Health Card linked to health facilities – Policy recommends linking the health card to primary care facility for a defined package of services anywhere in the country.
- Patient-centric Approach – Policy recommends the setting up of a separate, empowered medical tribunal for speedy resolution to address disputes /complaints regarding standards of care, prices of services, negligence and unfair practices. Standard Regulatory framework for laboratories and imaging centers, specialized emerging services, etc
- Micro-nutrient Deficiency – Focus on reducing micro-nutrient malnourishment and systematic approach to address heterogeneity in micro-nutrient adequacy across regions.
- Quality of Care – Public hospitals and facilities would undergo periodic measurements and certification of level of quality. Focus on Standard Regulatory Framework to eliminate risks of inappropriate care by maintaining adequate standards of diagnosis and treatment.
- Make in India Initiative – Policy advocates the need to incentivize local manufacturing to provide customized indigenous products for Indian population in the long run.
- Application of Digital Health – Policy advocates extensive deployment of digital tools for improving the efficiency and outcome of the healthcare system and aims at an integrated health information system which serves the needs of all stake-holders and improves efficiency, transparency, and citizen experience.
- Private Sector engagement for strategic purchase for critical gap filling and for achievement of health goals.
- At present, there is no proposal under consideration of the Government to make health as a fundamental right. However, National Health Policy, 2017 advocates progressively incremental Assurance based Approach with focus on preventive and preemptive healthcare.
- Under a ‘giving back to society’ initiative, the new Health Policy supports voluntary service in rural and under-served areas on pro-bono basis by recognized healthcare professionals. It also 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.
- The National Health Policy 2017 recognises that improved access, education and empowerment would be the basis of successful population stabilization. The policy imperative is to move away from camp based services with all its attendant problems of quality, safety and dignity of women, to a situation where these services are available on any day of the week or at least on a fixed day.
- In order to leverage the pluralistic health care legacy, NHP 2017 recommends mainstreaming the different health systems: better access to AYUSH remedies through co-location in public facilities; Yoga would be introduced much more widely in school and work places as part of promotion of good health.
A statement showing per capita expenditure on public health in India vis-à-vis other select developing countries in 2014:
|Country||General Government Health Expenditure (GGHE) per Capita in US$|
|Source: WHO: Global Health Expenditure Database, 2014|