On National Health Policy

National Health Policy presents a strong case for achieving universal health care but there are many challenges which come in way of its successful implementation.

  • India’s expenditure on healthcare services is dismal and is one of the worst in the world with just being 1.04 percent of the GDP which comes out to be Rs.957 per capita in absolute terms. The policy has been sensitive to these figures and has increased the amount to 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product i.e. Rs. 3800 per capita in next five years. However, even this amount is insufficient to plug in the gaps between dysfunctional health care services in India.
  • It is not just the lack of funding but also inefficient utilisation of the funds which have led to the current conditions. This has been topped by the faulty practices in the health care services. It has been the large failure of public health-care system to provide affordable services has led to increased out-of-pocket expenditure on health care. It is ineffective system which pushes 63 million people in poverty every year. India should take lessons from the dark reality in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone where Ebola spread and took many lives due to weak public health care.
  • The Policy has coverage and interventions only in case of maternal illnesses which account for only 10 percent of all mortalities. The Communicable diseases which are responsible for almost 75 percent of mortalities have been kept out of its purview. Also, only a few non-communicable diseases are covered.

However, the uniform adoption in India will depend on how many states request it. Universal Health Coverage will be successful if it has acceptance by many states.