UNION HEALTH Minister J P Nadda on Sunday hinted at restructuring of the Medical Council of India (MCI) to clear bottlenecks in its functioning and streamlining facilities at government hospitals to achieve objectives under the new National Health Policy (NHP). “We are contemplating a legislation soon to ensure that some necessary reforms are introduced at MCI, which is an autonomous body, and also make it in tune with the patient-centric framework for the hospitals and even revamping of medical courses. Only sometime back, we had created around 5,000 postgraduate seats at the medical colleges,” Nadda informed.
In Shimla on a two-day visit, he said the NHP, unveiled a few days ago, aims at an assured and affordable healthcare for all, besides free diagnostics and emergency care services. Thus, the focus has been shifted from the disease specific to universal healthcare, which will be preventive and promotive. “It is targeted at making good quality healthcare services universally accessible at affordable costs,” said Nadda.
Apart from the facilities being rolled out at the public health institutions backed by extensive use of digital technology, the government proposes to engage the private sector in filling the gaps, if the public sector institutions failed to meet the demand. Nadda said the government has decided to deregulate the norms to allow procuring equipment under the make in India programme. It will cut down the delay in making equipment available and also reduce the cost of machinery manufactured within the country.
He said the private sector is aimed at making a strategic partner even in setting up dialysis facility in PPP mode at the district-level hospitals for which the government has rolled out a Rs 900-crore project. Nadda said the target for eradication of TB has been advanced from 2030 to 2025 while diseases like kala-azar and leprosy have also been taken up under a targeted approach for total eradication. The policy denotes important changes from very selective to comprehensive primary healthcare package, which includes geriatric healthcare, palliative care and rehabilitative care services.
Under the new policy, there is also a proposal to set up a tribunal for adjudication of disputes relating to patient care. The use of digital means will facilitate creating health cards for all members of the families, which can also be transferred and accessed at other hospitals.