The Cabinet has
approved the National Health Policy 2017. Itis a huge milestone in the
history of health sector in the country. The Health Ministry has
formulated the National Health Policy 2017, under the guidance of the
Hon. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji. The last National Health
Policy was framed in 2002. So, this policy has come after a gap of 15
years to address the current and emerging challenges necessitated by the
changing socio-economic, technological and epidemiological landscape.
The Government of India adopted a highly participative and consultative
approach in policy formulation process. The Draft National Health Policy
was placed it public domain on 30th December, 2014. Over 5000
suggestions were received. This was followed by consultations with the
State Governments and other stakeholders for further fine tuning of the
policy. The policy was placed before the Central Council for Health &
Family Welfare, the apex policy making body and was unanimously endorsed
The policy informs and prioritizes the role of the Government in shaping
health systems in all its dimensions- investment in health, organization
and financing of healthcare services, prevention of diseases and
promotion of good health through cross-sectoral action, access to
technologies, developing human resources, encouraging medical pluralism,
building the knowledge base required for better health, financial
protection strategies and regulation and progressive assurance for
health. The policy is aimed at reaching healthcare in an assured manner
to all, particularly the underserved and underprivileged.
The policy aims for attainment of the highest possible level of health
and well-being for all at all ages, through a preventive and promotive
health care orientation in all developmental policies, and universal
access to good quality health care services without anyone having to
face financial hardship as a consequence. This would be achieved through
increasing access, improving quality and lowering the cost of healthcare
delivery.The broad principles of the Policy are centered on
professionalism, integrity and ethics, equity, affordability,
universality, patient centered and quality of care, accountability and
The policy seeks to move away from Sick- Care to Wellness, with thrust
on prevention and health promotion. While the policy seeks to reorient
and strengthen the public health systems, it also looks afresh at
strategic purchasing from the private sector and leveraging their
strengths to achieve national health goals. The policy looks at stronger
partnership with the private sector.
As a crucial component, the Policy proposes raising public health
expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP in a time bound manner. The Policy
advocates a progressively incremental assurance-based approach. It
envisages providing larger package of assured comprehensive primary
health care through the ‘Health and Wellness Centers’ and denotes
important change from very selective to comprehensive primary health
care package which includes care for major NCDs, mental health,
geriatric health care, palliative care and rehabilitative care services.
It advocates allocating major proportion (two-thirds or more) of
resources to primary care. It aims to ensure availability of 2 beds per
1000 population distributed in a manner to enable access within golden
hour. In order to provide access and financial protection, it proposes
free drugs, free diagnostics and free emergency and essential healthcare
services in all public hospitals.
The Policy has also assigned specific quantitative targets aimed at
reduction of disease prevalence/incidence under 3 broad components
viz.(a)health status and programme impact, (b) health system performance
and (c) health systems strengthening, aligned to the policy objectives.
Some key targets that the policy seeks to achieve are -
1. Life Expectancy and healthy life
a. Increase Life Expectancy at birth from 67.5 to 70 by 2025.
b. Establish regular tracking of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY)
Index as a measure of burden of disease and its trends by major
categories by 2022.
c. Reduction of TFR to 2.1 at national and sub-national level by 2025.
2. Mortality by Age and/ or cause
a. Reduce Under Five Mortality to 23 by 2025 and MMR from current levels
to 100 by 2020.
b. Reduce infant mortality rate to 28 by 2019.
c. Reduce neo-natal mortality to 16 and still birth rate to “single
digit” by 2025.
3. Reduction of disease prevalence/ incidence
a. Achieve global target of 2020 which is also termed as target of
90:90:90, for HIV/AIDS i. e,- 90% of all people living with HIV know
their HIV status, - 90% of all people diagnosed with HIV infection
receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90% of all people receiving
antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
b. Achieve and maintain elimination status of Leprosy by 2018, Kala-Azar
by 2017 and Lymphatic Filariasis in endemic pockets by 2017.
c. To achieve and maintain a cure rate of >85% in new sputum positive
patients for TB and reduce incidence of new cases, to reach elimination
status by 2025.
d. To reduce the prevalence of blindness to 0.25/ 1000 by 2025 and
disease burden by one third from current levels.
e. To reduce premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer,
diabetes or chronic respiratory diseases by 25% by 2025.
This policy focuses on tackling the emerging challenge of
non-communicable diseases. It supports an integrated approach where
screening for the most prevalent NCDs with secondary prevention would
make a significant impact on reduction of morbidity and preventable
The policy envisages a three dimensional integration of AYUSH systems
encompassing cross referrals, co-location and integrative practices
across systems of medicines. This has a huge potential for effective
prevention and therapy,that is safe and cost-effective. Yoga would be
introduced much more widely in school and work places as part of
promotion of good health.
To improve and strengthen the regulatory environment, the policy seeks
putting in place systems for setting standards and ensuring quality of
health care. The policy is patient centric and empowers the patient for
resolution of all their problems. The policy also looks at reforms in
the existing regulatory systems both for easing manufacturing of drugs
and device s, to promote Make in India, as also for reforming medical
education. The policy, has at its centre, the person, who seeks and
needs medical care.
The policy advocates development of cadre of mid-level service
providers, nurse practitioners, public health cadre to improve
availability of appropriate health human resource.
The policy also seeks to address health security and make in India for
drugs and devices. It also seeks to align other policies for medical
devices and equipment with public health goals.
The policy envisages a time-bound Implementation Framework with clear
deliverables and milestones to achieve the policy goals.