National Health Policy 2017: Reactions

The government of India announced the new National Health Policy 2017 after a draft was in circulation for over 18 months. The policy can be downloaded here and the  situation analysis here. There have been several reactions to the new policy that have been contributed to by JSA members and associated friends which have been published in different media outlets.  They are available here:

Scroll.inThe WireNewsclickDNAThe WIREDNAIJMEHindu Business LinePrajavani (Kannada); Mathrubhumi (Malayalam)

Health groups welcome price fixation of cardiac stents by NPPA

Health groups welcomed the notification by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) of ceiling prices for coronary stents. The NPPA has notified a ceiling price for Drug Eluting Stents (DES) at Rs.29,600 and for Bare Metal Stents (BMS) at Rs.7,260 under the provisions of paragraph 19 of the Drugs Prices Control Order, 2013…read full statement here.

Read recent articles on the issue here and here.

Also read the notification by NPPA here..

In budget 2017, Arun Jaitley gave flailing public health programs little hope

At a time when the country is grappling with perilous effects of demonetisation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was expected to be sensitive to the suffering of millions of Indians and enhance the social safety nets in the form of expansion of employment, education, health, food and nutrition. He has, instead, made some nominal increases in the rural sector and offered tax sops to the middle class. This increase in allocation appears mere tokenism when we compare it to price increases and expenditure cutbacks over last few years… Read the full article (Courtesy

Curbing malnutrition: What works in Africa doesn’t quite in India

Packaged fortified food, which showed remarkable results in treating children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in Africa, has proved much less effective in a trial conducted in India. This has prompted concerned paediatricians and nutritionists to write a letter to the prime minister cautioning against “quick fixes” of buying commercial products instead of focusing on sustainable measures such as care support for mothers, clean drinking water and food security….  read whole story …(courtesy Times of India)

A year of apathy towards public health services

The past year once again provides a clear picture of neglect of public health by the BJP led government and further, a disdain towards policies that promote welfare. The year has seen several outbreaks of infectious diseases such as dengue and chikungunya, often reaching epidemic proportions in many parts of the country. The epidemics have laid bare the inability of the country’s health systems to protect people’s health. Yet successive budgets presented by the BJP government have strengthened the perception that this government is ideologically committed to reducing public expenditure on welfare and public services. The past year has again seen a singular reluctance, on the part of the government, to even spell out a clear approach to health care. The Niti Ayog has played its due role of a neoliberal right-wing think tank by consistently shooting down even mildly progressive proposals that have been put forward by the Ministry of Health….read full article here..

JSA Rajasthan Calls for Revamping Schemes of Free Medicines and Increasing Public Spending on Health Care

Jan Swasthya Abhiyan Rajasthan held a public dialogue “Jan Swasthya Adhikar Manch” here at Shaheed Smarak Jaipur to draw the government’s attention towards the depleting state of public health care services in the state. About 45 cases related to violation of health rights and patient’s rights were presented during the one day event and more than 300 people from across the state came together to voice for their health rights…read report here…

Chronicles of Deaths Foretold: Review of 139 maternal deaths in 2013-2015 among poor and marginalized communities across seven districts

This  report  documents  the  stories  of  about  140  women  who  did  not  survive  pregnancy  and childbirth.  These unfortunate stories from eastern UP, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal provide us an important insight into how, despite all the policy efforts, many women continue to die. Maternal mortality is considered a preventable phenomenon and these case studies allow us to understand what worked in terms of current policy provisions and what did not, and we can learn important lessons on how the policy and programmatic provision can be improved to serve the needs of these women better…. read the full report here…