National Health Policy cleared by Cabinet

The union cabinet has cleared the National Health Policy which puts forward a concrete framework for universal healthcare. The Policy also suggests policy directives to make drugs and diagnostic facilities available across the country. The Policy seeks to involve the private sector to make healthcare services widely available. Reducing maternal and infant mortality finds special mention in the policy. Highlighting the resource crunch in this sector, it also recommends raising the public health expenditure from 1.2% of GDP to 2.5%. Critics have pointed out some of the gaps in the policy, that include:  restricted capability of mandated agencies to deliver on any identified objectives, financial limitations of existing institutions to perform assigned roles and lack of a clearly-drawn, outcome-based action plan.