Health minister J P Nadda today said the government aims to provide "assured" universal health cover for all the citizens as mooted in the National Health Policy which was passed by the Parliament recently. Stressing that to be able to lead a healthy life is everyone's right, Nadda said the aim is to take healthcare including free drugs and diagnostics and other benefits under various government schemes in an assured manner to all so that nobody is deprived of health facilities. "The policy unlike the earlier one stresses on "preventive and promotive" health care and also lays special emphasis to non-communicable diseases along with communicable diseases," he said here. Reacting to government's decision to slash the prices of stents as much as by 85 per cent, Nadda said the move will benefit poor patients immensely. The National Health Policy aims at reducing Under-Five Mortality to 23 by 2025 and Maternal Mortality Rate to 100 by 2020.
It targets reducing infant mortality rate to 28 by 2019 and neo-natal mortality to 16 and still-birth rate to single digit by 2025. As a crucial component, the policy proposes raising public health expenditure to 2.5 per cent of the GDP in a time-bound manner from way below 2 per cent GDP expenditure on the sector at present. The policy also seeks to achieve and maintain elimination of leprosy by 2018, kala-azar by 2017 and lymphatic filariasis in endemic pockets by 2017.
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