By Mr. R Shankar, President, Organizing Committee, HEAL Convention
While India is often criticised for trying to abdicate its responsibility in healthcare segment, the facts are otherwise. India has its own priorities, especially as a nation so diverse in so many ways. Here are the facts:
The Union Government has a robust National Health Mission to address the needs of the poor and vulnerable. These include:
Reproductive, Maternal, New-Born, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) programme to address the major causes of mortality among women and children; Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) aims at early identification and early intervention for children from birth to 18 years to cover 4 ‘D’s viz. Defects at birth, Deficiencies, Diseases, Development delays including disability; Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram for adolescent participation and
leadership, Equity and inclusion, Gender Equity and strategic partnerships with other sectors and stakeholders.
The Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram aims to motivate those who still choose to deliver at their homes to opt for institutional deliveries; National AIDS Control Organisation provides HIV patients with access to quality care and is treated with dignity; the Revised National TB Control Programme vision is to achieve a TB free India and National Leprosy Eradication Programme.
In 2018, Mission Indradhanush was launched to improve coverage of immunization in the country.
National Mental Health Program aims to ensure the availability and accessibility of minimum mental healthcare for all in the foreseeable future.
Pulse Polio is an immunization campaign to eliminate polio in India by vaccinating all children under the age of five years against the polio virus.
Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) aims at correcting regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/ reliable tertiary healthcare services.
Integrated Child Development Service was launched to improve the nutrition and health status of children in the age group of 0-6 years.
Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana is a government-run health insurance programme for the Indian poor. It aims to provide health insurance coverage to the unrecognized sector workers belonging to the below poverty line and their family members shall be beneficiaries under this scheme.
Ayushman Bharat is undoubtedly the most ambitious and innovative plan to reboot India’s resolve to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible to people at the base of the pyramid.