NEW DELHI: Assuring health services to all as an entitlement would be one of the key proposals of the draft National Health Policy. The Health Ministry has prepared a note of the draft policy which is expected to be taken up by the Union Cabinet for approval next week.
As soon as Union Health Minister J P Nadda clears the note, it will be sent to the Union Cabinet, a senior Health Ministry official said. The National Health Policy has been pending for the last two years. Though the note does not talk about making health a fundamental right as it will have legal consequences, it talks about “providing assured health services to all”.
The draft was finalised after the ministry held several rounds of discussions with various stakeholders, including different government departments and NGOs.
The earlier draft had mentioned that the National Health Policy will be a fundamental right but in the present note, the government has proposed assured services as entitlement.
Under the draft National Health Policy, 2015, it was proposed that the Centre will enact a National Health Rights Act, which will ensure health as a fundamental right and whose denial will be “justiciable”.
It said: “States would voluntarily opt to adopt this by a Assembly resolution. States which have achieved a per capita public health expenditure rate of over `3,800 should be in a position to deliver on this.”
“Such a policy formulation or resolution, we feel, would be the right signal to give a push for more public health expenditure as well as for the recognition of health as a basic human right and its realisation as goal that the nation must set itself,” the earlier policy had stated.