ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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National Health Policy, 2017

Revealing Public Health Chicanery

The National Health Policy, 2017 reflects the perfunctory attitude towards public health, so deeply entrenched among the mandarins of the health ministry. The policy paves the way for the contraction of public healthcare systems, thereby reducing the government’s involvement in the delivery of health services, and facilitates the dominance of the private sector in curative care. However, in the absence of a robust public healthcare system, the goal of achieving “healthcare for all” becomes even more onerous.

 

After a long hiatus, perhaps contemplative, the government finally came out with the National Health Policy (NHP), 2017 (MoHFW 2017a). Since the policy document has been finalised after almost two years, one hoped for changes being incorporated in the health policy in light of the debate around the Draft National Health Policy (DNHP), 2015 document. In an earlier article published in this journal, this author along with others had analysed this draft document (Rao et al 2015). However, concerns raised in this critique have remained unaddressed in the 2017 policy document. There can be little satisfaction in stating that the basic premises of our critique not only remain valid but seem to have been further strengthened by some baleful changes that have been strategically deployed in the NHP, 2017. It is immensely important that we absorb the import of these changes to calibrate our response to the new health policy; however, we shall begin by mentioning the points where credit is due to the policymakers. Additionally, the arguments made in the earlier critique (Rao et al 2015) shall not be revisited, except to facilitate the argument being made here.

Giving Credit Where It Is Due

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Published On : 13th Jul, 2018

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