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5th April 2024 (10 Topics)

Ahead of 2024 polls, not ‘Arogya Mandirs’ but a healthcare manifesto


Ahead of the upcoming general elections, the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan has released an 18-point "People’s Health Manifesto," urging all political parties to prioritize healthcare. The manifesto outlines seven interrelated shifts in health policies and systems to address the challenges faced by India's healthcare sector.

Emphasizing Primary Healthcare:

  • Public Health Solutions: The manifesto advocates for expanding and enhancing public health facilities, especially at the primary level, to improve healthcare accessibility.
  • Successful Models: Examples like Mohalla Clinics in Delhi, upgraded Family Health Centres in Kerala, and the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation model demonstrate effective public health solutions.
  • Importance of Rebuilding: Prioritizing primary healthcare over symbolic gestures like renaming health centers is crucial for improving healthcare delivery.

Increased Public Health Financing:

  • Urgent Need: The manifesto calls for a substantial increase in public health financing by both central and state governments to support healthcare improvements.
  • Financial Expansion: The Union government is urged to raise its public health spending from the current 0.3% of GDP to at least 1%, along with additional financial support to states.
  • Impact on Healthcare Access: Enhanced public health financing is expected to reduce out-of-pocket spending, benefiting large sections of the population and preventing financial distress.

Decentralizing Care:

  • Importance of Accountability: The manifesto emphasizes the need for systematic social accountability and decentralized management of frontline public health services.
  • Successful Examples: Kerala's Panchayat oversight and Maharashtra's "Community-based monitoring and planning" initiative demonstrate effective decentralization efforts.
  • Ground-Level Improvement: Devolution of powers and effective decentralization are essential to ensure improved public delivery at the grassroots level.
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