New Delhi: Investment in primary health care is the most inclusive, equitable and cost-effective way to achieve Universal Health Coverage, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pawar said on Tuesday (October 31). MoS Pawar addressed the Ministerial Roundtable Conference at the 76th session of the World Health Organization Regional Committee for South-East Asia. The Delhi Declaration on strengthening primary healthcare as a key element towards achieving universal health coverage was signed at the meeting.
Reaffirming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of “Antyodaya”, the principle of leaving no one behind, MoS Pawar said India’s leadership in the G20 has emphasised the importance of strengthening national health systems by putting people at the centre of preparedness and preparing them to respond effectively.
India’s strong health system relies on a “whole of government” and “whole of society” approach, she said.
This would facilitate achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) with the goal of strengthening primary health care and improving essential health services and health systems to pre-pandemic levels, she said.
Speaking on the impact of India’s significant reforms, MoS Pawar said,
More than 1.61 lakh Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) are transforming the delivery of comprehensive primary health care services which are universally free and provided to all age groups from birth to death, through a continuum of care approach.
She said it is leading to improved population coverage, reduced out-of-pocket expenditure, mitigation of risk factors and decongestion of higher level of facilities, thus improving quality of care at all levels.
Lauding the policy reforms undertaken for primary healthcare, the minister said,
As one of the many policy reforms, the Community Health Officer (CHO) cadre has been introduced at primary levels. India’s ASHA programme is the largest community health worker programme globally.
Speaking on the future blueprint, MoS Pawar said,
AB-HWCs are now gearing up to be able to address the existing gaps in specific areas of care i.e. mental health, elderly care, and palliative care.
She added that Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) will aim at creating a comprehensive digital health ecosystem and investments towards standards-based digital health transformation.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoilets are used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.