After much delay, the National Health Policy 2015, on the lines of Obamacare, was approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday, assuring affordable health services to all.
The decision on the policy that had been in cold storage for about two years, was deferred twice in the past two months by the Cabinet.
The policy addresses issues concerning universal healthcare coverage, reducing maternal and infant mortality rate as well as making drugs and diagnostics available free, at least in the public healthcare system of the country.
It also suggests that the Centre must amend laws to align them with the current healthcare scenario.
“The green signal to the policy is a positive step, and we are hopeful that it will help improve the healthcare system significantly,” a senior health ministry official said.
Highlights of National Health Policy 2015
*Increase in public health spend: The draft policy proposes an increase in public health expenditure from the current 1% of GDP to 2.5%.
*National Health Rights Act: Akin to the right to education, the policy aims to assure health services to all.
*Public Private Partnerships: The thrust is on building public-private partnerships to deliver health services.
*Non communicable diseases: With non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and associated deaths rising, there is a special focus on tackling them.
*Health Research: The department of health research finds prominence in the policy as a boost for health research.