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Govt. Health Policies In India Shaping Up The Healthcare Narrative

Today, India’s healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors and it is expected to reach $280 billion by 2020. The country is catapulting towards becoming a nation with high-end diagnostic services and tremendous capital investment for advanced diagnostic facilities for its citizens, thanks to the important initiatives introduced by the incumbent government in recent years.

Some major initiatives undertaken by the Govt which aim at providing accessible, cost-friendly and quality healthcare services to the majority of the citizens along with providing a holistic view of the health system in the country are:

– In August 2018, the Government of India approved Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission as a centrally Sponsored Scheme contributed by both center and state govt. It aims at covering over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.

Under the Ayushman Bharat program, nearly 1.5 lakh primary health centers will be transformed as health and wellness centers by 2022. These centers will be equipped to provide treatment and care for several diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and old age-related illnesses.

– Another important mission undertaken in full throttle is Mission Indradhanush (launched in December 2014) which aims to achieve at least 90% full immunization coverage of India and sustain the same by the year 2020. The ultimate goal here is to ensure full immunization with all available vaccines for children up to two years of age and pregnant women in both rural and urban areas.

When we discuss the healthcare narrative of the country, it is also important to highlight recent developments such as the decline in India’s maternal mortality rate (MMR), which dropped by 22%, to 130 (per lakh of live births), also referred to as a ‘groundbreaking’ decline by WHO. The Sustainable Development Goal target for MMR is 70, by 2030 which India expects to achieve within the next 3 years. WHO also recently commended India over its achievement of curbing the overall malaria score, thanks to a significant drop in Malaria in the state of Odisha.

These are all major positives to consider in a country with more than a billion citizens, where accessible health care in remote areas and effective diagnosis is of utmost importance.

Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, DV Sadananda Gowda, recently commented that the healthcare industry in India has been one of the country’s largest economic sectors with regard to both employment and revenue, and is expected to generate 40 million jobs in India by 2020. It is worth noting that two years ago, the Indian healthcare sector was the fourth-largest employer, employing 319,780 people.

Ministry of Health and Family Affairs has been given a push in money allocation in the last five budgets that have been presented by the Modi govt. With Rs 63,298.12 crore allocated to the health sector this year, the government once again hiked India’s health spending. This year’s allocations are a rise of 15.9% percent over last year’s budget, which showed a rise of about 13% over what was allotted for this sector in the year before that. – TOI