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

Articles By Health Policy and Legislation

The Essential Cancer Drugs

There are no public procurement programmes for cancer on the lines of those that exist for AIDS or tuberculosis. It is worth considering whether it is feasible to institute a drug procurement programme based on international/national competitive bidding or shopping, like those already in place in the National AIDS Control Organisation. If patients in developed countries are finding it difficult to survive the astronomical prices of cancer drugs, a developing country like India, with a large part of its population below the poverty line or among the middle class, is even worse affected in the battle against the disease.

India's Population Programme

As sterilisation scandals abound, a consensus is emerging for a shift away from sterilisation towards a larger "basket" of contraceptive choices and concomitant improvements in service delivery. That such a shift needs to take place is clear, but precisely how it is to come about, and who gets to determine what is in the basket of choices are questions that deserve greater attention. The neo-Malthusian resurgence, combined with the technical fixation on contraception, favours certain methods over others, but health and safety concerns related to these methods are typically downplayed or suppressed.

New Health Policy and Chronic Disease

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has made public the National Health Policy 2015 Draft for discussion. The draft is more exhaustive and better organised in its coverage compared to the National Health Policy of 2002. It touches upon contemporary issues of concern, including the rapid emergence of chronic non-communicable diseases. From the latest available evidence, issues crucial to tackling chronic illness in India are discussed.

Human Resource Development in Health Services

This response to Javid Chowdhury ("National Health Policy 2015: A Narrow Focus Needed," EPW, 28 February 2015) and Anant Phadke ("Slippery Slope for Public Health Services," EPW, 28 February 2015) argues that a course designed to create a mid-level cadre of healthcare providers lacks the vision to address the country's needs.