The National Health Policy 2017 covers various aspects like care for major non-communicable diseases (NCDs), geriatric healthcare, mental health, palliative care and rehabilitative care services.
The four main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancer, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes. These four diseases are largely caused by behavioural risk factors like tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and alcohol use. Additional risk factors like obesity, high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol and blood glucose are tied to lifestyle choices.
Dr Sushil Shah, Founder & Chairman, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd., "The newly announced health policy hits so many right marks. From focusing on preventive healthcare, pre-screening and targeting NCDs to lowering costs of medical services and ensuring access to quality healthcare despite financial barriers."
"Cancer, diabetes and heart diseases account for 55 per cent of premature mortality of India in the age group of 30-69 years. One in four Indians face the risk of death from an NCD before they hit the age of 70," states global status report on NCDs by WHO. The report also states, "NCDs contributed to 5.8 million deaths, accounting for 60 per cent of all deaths in India". Such alarming figures can only be improved by proper monitoring and implementation of the policy.
Appreciating the Healthy Ministry and its emphasis on creating awareness about NCDs, Dr Kenneth E Thorpe, Chairman, PFCD said, "The announcement of the policy is a clear indication of the government's long-term commitment to find sustainable solutions to address the growing burden of NCDs as well as the recognition of the socio-economic impact of NCDs on the country."
"The National Health Policy 2017 is certainly a step in the right direction. It encompasses the relevant provisions to ensure quality healthcare to the people of this country through greater investment in health, organisation and financing of healthcare services, emphasis on prevention of diseases and promotion of good health through capacity building, financial protection and progressive assurance for health," said Dr Thorpe