National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 envisioned to build on the progress made by the last NHP, is primarily to address problems with respect to the three A’s, ie, access, affordability and accountability of healthcare services in India. Since the last 15 years, the healthcare context of the country has drastically changed in four major dimensions. The country witnessed a growing burden of some non-communicable and infectious diseases and a rise in catastrophic expenditure of health care. At the same time, India has also observed a considerable progress in the healthcare sector and also enhanced fiscal capacity due to size-able economic growth. In this scenario, NHP 2017 was the need of the hour to address these factors effectively.
NHP 2017 foresees to widen primary healthcare network in India, enabling to cover a larger section of people. Primary health packages are upgraded from a very basic one to a comprehensive package including geriatric, palliative and rehabilitative care services. Up to two-third of the fund has been allocated to resource primary, secondary and tertiary care. The guidelines on finding sustainable solutions to defend the surge of lifestyle disease are another notable annexures in the document.
This is the first time in India; a national policy has so intensely recognized the role of private sector in taking the healthcare sector of the nation to the next level. Realizing the scale of PPP model in the sector, the government proposes to help private hospitals subsidize costs for people below the poverty line. Combining the advantages of less expense to the government and better service from a private partner, the goal of universal healthcare could be achieved faster and more comprehensively.
“I am quite hopeful about the outcome of the implementation of NHP 2017 since it looks at problems and solutions holistically with the private sector as strategic partners. As a private entity, we are wholeheartedly willing to extend all support to this policy;” says Dr. N Pratap Kumar, Chairman & Managing Director, Meditrina Hospitals, pioneers in PPP model SIH cardiac care units across India and Maldives.
When most of the foreign countries including the UK and Australia follow an approach to hospital PPPs focusing on facilities, India on contrast has initiated more comprehensive service delivery PPPs. Reportedly, India will end up with a total bed density of 1.84 per 1,000 people against the global average of 2.9 and WHO guideline of 3.5 in 2022. If the figures has to be improved, the private sector has to be successfully intervened not only in investments but also in project planning and optimum of capital at all income levels, especially the rural and urban poor sectors.
Text by: Manila Manohar | firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: www.nhp.gov.in
Photo Credit: www.nhp.gov.in