National Health Policy

Economic Review, August 1990 | Go to article overview

National Health Policy


National Health Policy

The ultimate aim of Health Policy is to provide in 10 years time, a universal health cover, free of charge to those who cannot afford to pay for it; democratization of health administration; and provision of trained health manpower.

A National Health Policy was announced on 8th May 1990. The salient features of the new Health Policy and the programmes to be implemented are given below:

A. Salient Features of Health Policy

The ultimate aim of Health Policy is to provide in 10 years time, a universal health cover, free of charge to those who cannot afford to pay for it; democratization of health administration; and provision of trained health manpower. To be more specific, the main targets of the Government will be achieved by: - Improved functioning of existing BHUs and RHCs, establishing of mobile units, providing incentives to doctors to establish practices in rural areas and Katchi Abadis, establishing filter clinics in urban areas and adequate diagnostics support services. - Training programmes for 100,000 Village Health Workers (VHWs) which will be organised at Tehsil and Taluka hospitals and rural health centres. - A special scheme aimed at providing employment opportunities to unemployed doctors would be initiated. - A list of Essential Drugs price of which will be kept at a minimum level will be introduced alongside the existing system. This will help in achieving the widest possible coverage of the population with drugs of proven efficacy. - A drug schedule will be introduced for various types of hospitals and health care facilities in the public sector and a continued supply of such drugs will be ensured. - Health insurance schemes for those who wish to participate, would be initiated. - The health management system will be strengthened, decentralised and democratized. For this purpose Management Boards and Committees will be created. - The private sector will be encouraged to provide primary health care in the rural areas. - Medical education will be made more relevant to primary health care needs and training opportunities will be provided for medical specialists, nurses and paramedical staff in primary health care. - Twenty per cent of the top students of each medical college on successful completion of MBBS degree, will be provided opportunities for specialization. - lodized salt supply to goitrous areas will be ensured. - Food supplements will be provided to vulnerable and malnourished groups, especially lactating mothers, infants and children. - Family planning will be made an effective and mandatory part of the health care programme. - A special programme will be implemented to deal with medical aspects of narcotic control programme.

B. The Health Policy will implement the following programmes: - Basic Health Services will be established on an integrated basis including measures for improving agriculture, increasing clean water supply, sanitation, electrification, roads, schools and grain storage. In other words it will be a part of "total development". - The people of the community will be involved at the outset in identifying their needs, choosing the sequence and in implementing and supervising the programmes. - Advocacy for the needs of children will receive priority. - Physical inventories of all health care establishments alongside their needs and problems will be undertaken on an emergent basis. - Modern record keeping, medical audit system and health information reporting systems will be to acquire essential information for management and evaluation purposes. - Studies will be carried out to measure the effectiveness of organization in the management of health services. - Development programmes in the health sector will be critically evaluated to ensure that in future the cumulative costs will remain realistic and not lead to any programme being abandoned in midstream. - Health manpower policies will be urgently revised. Physical services, analysis of the cost of production of doctors, terms of employment, role of non-physicians in health management, auxiliary services, and problems of the traditional health sector are some of the issues that will be addressed in a concerted and comprehensive manner. …

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