Making health care affordable and accessible to Indian citizens is the key challenge before the new government. India needs a holistic care system which is universally accessible, affordable and effective and drastically reduces the out of pocket spending on health. The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has drastically failed to meet the objectives and needs to be radically reformed. The overarching goal of health care should be to provide, health assurance to all Indians and to reduce the out of pocket spending on health care, with the help of State governments. The current situation also calls for radical reforms in the health care system with regards to national health care programmes and delivery, medical education and training and financing of health care.
“Major part of health budget, about 66 to 70 per cent, be targeted to improving primary health. Life saving drugs and surgeries should be free for all. All medical colleges, whether private or governmental, be sanctioned with prior planning and should spread in all areas. All those who are getting training in government medical institutions, compulsorily be deputed on rotation in rural areas during their education and training period.”—Dr RS Tonk, Consultant and Prof. of Medicine, Nursing Home Incharge, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi
Commitments of BJP
Steps to be taken:
-Comprehensive health care policy to address the complex health care challenges.
-National Health Assurance Mission with a clear mandate to provide accessible and effective universal health care.
-Reviewing the role of various professional regulatory bodies in health care.
-Modernise Government hospitals, upgrading infrastructure and latest technologies.
-Increase the number of medical and para-medical colleges and set-up an AIIMS like institute in every State.
-Increase in public investment to promote Yoga and AYUSH.
Enhancing access through insurance (government as the player)
-A minimal payment should be charged from people who can afford and it should include–both indoor patients and outdoor patient.
-Taluka level hospitals: A 500 bed multi-specialty hospital should be opened to cater to the local people and to attend to the referrals from the primary health centres.
-District Hospitals: Provision for 800-1,000 bed multi-specialty hospital with facilities for future expansion based on census.
-Improve the production and distribution of pharmaceutical drugs to make them more affordable and accessible to citizens.
-Hospitals should have in-house facilities for nursing, pharmacy colleges, and a ‘Dedicated Educational Wing’ which works to increase awareness among people.