National Health Policy 2017

The primary aim of the National Health Policy, 2017, is to inform, clarify, strengthen and prioritize the role of the Government in shaping health systems in all its dimensions- investments in health, organization of healthcare services, prevention of diseases and promotion of good health through cross sectoral actions, access to technologies, developing human resources, encouraging medical pluralism, building knowledge base, developing better financial protection strategies, strengthening regulation and health assurance.

Key Policy Principles

I. Professionalism, Integrity and Ethics: The health policy commits itself to the highest professional standards, integrity and ethics to be maintained in the entire system of health care delivery in the country, supported by a credible, transparent and responsible regulatory environment.
II. Equity: Reducing inequity would mean affirmative action to reach the poorest. It would mean minimizing disparity on account of gender, poverty, caste, disability, other forms of social exclusion and geographical barriers. It would imply greater investments and financial protection for the poor who suffer the largest burden of disease.
III. Affordability: As costs of care increases, affordability, as distinct from equity, requires emphasis. Catastrophic household health care expenditures defined as health expenditure exceeding 10% of its total monthly consumption expenditure or 40% of its monthly non-food consumption expenditure, are unacceptable.
IV. Universality: Prevention of exclusions on social, economic or on grounds of current health status. In this backdrop, systems and services are envisaged to be designed to cater to the entire population- including special groups.
V. Patient Centered & Quality of Care: Gender sensitive, effective, safe, and convenient healthcare services to be provided with dignity and confidentiality. There is need to evolve and disseminate standards and guidelines for all levels of facilities and a system to ensure that the quality of healthcare is not compromised.
VI. Accountability: Financial and performance accountability, transparency in decision making, and elimination of corruption in health care systems, both in public and private.
VII. Inclusive Partnerships: A multistakeholder approach with partnership & participation of all nonhealth ministries and communities. This approach would include partnerships with academic institutions, not for profit agencies, and health care industry as well.
VIII. Pluralism: Patients who so choose and when appropriate, would have access to AYUSH care providers based on documented and validated local, home and community based practices. These systems, inter alia, would also have Government support in research and supervision to develop and enrich their contribution to meeting the national health goals and objectives through integrative practices.
IX. Decentralization: Decentralisation of decision making to a level as is consistent with practical considerations and institutional capacity. Community participation in health planning processes, to be promoted side by side.
X. Dynamism and Adaptiveness: constantly improving dynamic organization of health care based on new knowledge and evidence with learning from the communities and from national and international knowledge partners is designed.

Practice Question:

1) Cabinet has recently approved National Health Policy (NHP) 2017, which aims to:

1. Reduce infant mortality rate to 28 by 2019.
2. Reduce under five mortality to 23 by 2020.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both

(d) None

Answer: a
Exp: NHP recognizes need for state intervention to control NCDs as they are reason for more than 60% death in India. Thus policy advocates pre-screening and sets the target to reduce premature mortality via NCDs by 25% by 2025.Targets under NHP 2017:
• Increasing life expectancy to 70 years from 67.5 years by 2025
• reduce infant mortality rate to 28 by 2019
• reduce under five mortality to 23 by 2025
• reduce Total Fertility Rate to 2.1 at the national and sub-national levels by 2025
• Maternal Mortality Ratio from current levels to 100 by 2020
• Reduce neo-natal mortality to 16 and stillbirth rate to “single digit” by 2025.