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Govt’s 100-Day Agenda Should Prioritize Public Health: AHPI

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

June 25, 2024

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The AHPI called for prioritizing promotive and preventive health measures, emphasizing the Swachh Bharat initiative, access to clean drinking water, and nutrition improvement focusing on millets.

The Association of Healthcare Providers of India (AHPI) has stressed the importance of preventive health measures, sanitation, clean drinking water, and improved nutrition for the newly elected government’s first 100 days agenda.

AHPI represents a significant portion of India's healthcare facilities and advocates for initiatives that enhance public health and prevent diseases.

Recently the association called for prioritizing promotive and preventive health measures, emphasizing the Swachh Bharat initiative, access to clean drinking water, and nutrition improvement focusing on millets.

These steps are crucial for disease prevention and overall well-being, noted the AHPI.

AHPI’s Recommendations

The association suggested accelerating the development of sub-centers and urban health centers to provide educational materials on preventive health in local languages and disease screenings.

They also recommended utilizing trained AYUSH doctors for promotive health roles while maintaining curative roles under allopathic doctors.

Dr Girdhar Gyani, director general of AHPI, highlighted the need for strategic policy implementation and increased funding.

He said, "The new government has a unique opportunity to transform India's healthcare landscape. By focusing on key areas, we can create a robust, efficient, and inclusive healthcare system that ensures the well-being of every Indian."

He urged the government to address emerging health threats such as mental health, geriatrics, stroke, cancer, adult immunization, and the impact of climate change on health.

Dr Gyani also stressed the need for increased government spending to achieve universal health coverage.

Furthermore, AHPI suggested an intensified promotion of the Fit India Movement, focusing on physical exercise and yoga. Targeting schools, gram panchayats, Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs), and enterprises could strengthen occupational health schemes and foster a fitness culture, improving overall population health.

Additionally, to prevent overcrowding at premier institutes such as AIIMS, AHPI proposed a strict referral system.

This would ensure that patients are appropriately referred from sub-centers to primary health centers (PHCs), community health centers (CHCs), district hospitals, medical colleges, and AIIMS only for tertiary-level ailments. This would streamline patient flow and enhance healthcare delivery efficiency.

Moreover, AHPI suggested making public health institutes more accountable and professional by placing them under autonomous state boards.

These boards would receive partial government funding and generate additional funds independently, ensuring better management and accountability.

This move aims to improve the quality of public health services, drawing inspiration from countries where public health facilities are preferred over private ones.

The association acknowledged the potential of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana but called for its restructuring. The scheme has not reached all beneficiaries identified under SECC-2011, and it is essential to include senior citizens not covered under other schemes.

Additionally, AHPI stressed the need to address non-viable rates and delayed reimbursements that have led many private hospitals to opt out of the scheme.

Addressing Bed Shortage & Specialist Deficit

India currently has less than two beds per 1,000 people, against the WHO norm of 3.5 beds per 1,000. AHPI recommended incentivizing the private sector to establish tertiary care hospitals in Tier-III towns and addressing the shortage of specialists by opening exclusive PG colleges.

They also emphasized promoting the indigenization of high-tech medical equipment and advancing the National Digital Health Mission, including the ABHA card and portability of medical records.

As the Union Budget approaches, AHPI expects significant allocations for the healthcare sector to support these initiatives. The first 100 days of the new government are crucial for setting the direction towards a healthier India.


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