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Healthcare reforms in India: A step in the right direction

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National health policy 2017 has been cleared by the center. The new policy marks an increase on the healthcare spend which is poised to be increased from around the existing 1 % of the GDP to 2.5 % of the GDP. Thought still very less compared the health spent of countries like Germany and the UK, this is still a giant leap for India which is historically known for ignoring the healthcare sector in its budgetary planning.

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Apart from the increased healthcare expenditure, the policy envisaged to make healthcare accessible to all in a professional manner. The core principles of the service delivery will be Integrity and ethics, equity, affordability, universality, patient centric, quality of care, accountability and pluralism.

Thus decision on whether to cap price of an essential medicine or equipment like stents will invariably biased in favor of the patients and poor people of the country.

healthcare

As the country move towards, universal healthcare, it is imperative to partner with the private sector in at least secondary and tertiary medical services so as the make the goals of this policy more attainable.

Today, largely the philosophy of curative healthcare is followed in India. The new policy aims to change that so that promotive and preventive healthcare takes the center stage along with renewed focus on emerging diseases.

If you had a chance to visit any of the government hospitals, it is disheartening to see the hospitals in a sad state of affairs.  Drug availability, diagnostics and emergency care are the most important and the most wanting areas which this policy aims to fix as quickly as possible. It is a mammoth task to provide these services for free to each one from the privileged class to the poorest member of the society. However, the intentions to do so is noble and current Government deserves some applause for it.

India has a huge shortage of allopathic  doctors so services of alternative schools of medicines like AYUSH along with involvement of citizen volunteers is required to achieve this ambitious program.

If Government is able to take the steps in right direction, the day will not be far when Indians are not forced to make out of pocket expenditures for their medical bills. The average life expectancy will automatically move north from 67.5 to 70 plus years

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