Programmes Under NHM Likely To Be Impacted Due To Lack Of Funds
Several significant programmes under the National Health Mission (NHM) are likely to be impacted because of a shortfall of funds in 2018-19.
The ministry of health and family welfare got an allocation of only Rs 30,129.61 crores for 2018-19 against a projected plan outlay of Rs 34,882.32 crores under NHM for the current year. The deficit of around Rs 4,752.71 crores may affect a range of activities under the mission such as up-gradation of hospitals, expansion of the vaccines programme and implementing interventions for non-communicable diseases.
The ministry of health and family welfare recently expressed concerns before a parliamentary standing committee on health and family welfare that the shortfall in allocations for NHM for 2018-19 vis-à-vis its projected demand for funds will adversely impact the major health initiatives.
A few of the initiatives under the NHM are upscaling of existing initiatives such as strengthening of health facilities to Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS), establishing sub-centres, primary health centres (PHCs) and community health centres (CHCs), expansion of new pneumococcal vaccines, measles-rubella and rotavirus vaccines to all states, and implementation of new interventions particularly those relating to non-communicable diseases and strengthening of district hospitals.
The National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 has envisaged a target of 2.5% of GDP as health expenditure by the government both Centre and states by 2025. However, keeping in view the scaling down of various activities due to reduced budgetary allocations, and the central share in health funding stagnating at 0.3% of GDP, the achievement of targets set for 2025 would remain a pipe dream.
NHM aims to provide universal access to equitable, affordable and quality healthcare services, accountable and responsive to people’s needs, with effective inter-sectoral convergent action to address the wider social determinants of health.
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