In his address on Monday, President Pranab Mukherjee announced that the government would soon roll out a national health assurance mission to promote yoga and AYUSH. The President spoke about a new health policy that will ensure the healthcare system is holistic and universally accessible, affordable and effective.
The President also said that AIIMS-like institutes will be set up in every state in a phased manner. The Health ministry is already working on a plan to set up 10 more AIIMS-like institutes over and above the six set up during the previous UPA regime.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr Harsh Vardhan said: “It has been 12 years since the last health policy was framed in 2002. It is time new age health considerations are weaved into it. I will soon undertake a comprehensive review of all health policies framed in the last 50 years and then sit down with experts to draft a new health policy.”
Environmental and occupational aspects of healthcare along with a revamp of the medical education sector are likely to be the cornerstones of the policy. There will be emphasis on tobacco control and some aspects of alcohol regulation, including through taxation, are also expected to feature.
Integration of AYUSH practitioners in the medical mainstream through appropriate training has been one of pet topics of Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan since he took over last month. He has also spoken in the past about the role of yoga in preventive healthcare and not ruled out the possibility of roping in yoga exponent Baba Ramdev for ministry’s programme.