Health Delivery System would be Swachh (Clean) by Next Year- Dr. Harshvardhan
New Delhi, November 3: Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has taken a stern view of ‘free for all’ situation in Indian Healthcare. He declared today that he would put in place a regulatory authority with full powers, so that no deviant behavior, detrimental to the health of people goes scot free. He assured of an assured quality healthcare in India by the next year.
In his keynote address here today at a two-day Ministry of Health-conducted National Convention on Quality in Public Health Dr. Vardhan stressed the need for an effective regulatory administration to ensure quality healthcare. He said that the government would institutionalize a regulatory authority with full powers to oversee all-round quality standards enforcement and consumer protection under the National Health Assurance Mission (NHAM).
‘NHAM is going to be the biggest ever health outreach with universal health insurance as a strong component. While quantitatively India will leapfrog into a new era, quality should not be compromised. Quality and quantity are not mutually exclusive,’ the Minister said. The expert body headed by Prof. Ranjit Ray Choudhury has recommended that NHAM should be accountable to the people for deficiencies in delivery. That is why principles of consumer protection would come into play. Safety, Effectiveness and Positive Patient Experience would be the key points, the Minister pointed out.
He observed, ‘Why should a government facility be identified with sloth and sloppiness while a private one is identified with reliability? It is time a new culture takes over. I want to make transparency, efficiency, compassion and accountability the pillars of the public health system when NHAM is operationalised next year.’
Key to the new culture would be implementation of “Swacch Bharat”, the Prime Minister’s vision of a society which is intolerant to decay and apathy launched on October 2, the Health Minister stated. Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “Swachh Bharat is not only about symbolic clean-up. It means reinvigoration and self-purification. Let us see it as a wake-up call and thoroughly overhaul our systems so that we can prove to the world that India too can have a world class public health system.”
The Health Secretary, Shri Lov Verma, highlighted the critical importance of institutionalizing quality assurance in delivering of health service, including the service and technical/clinical quality. The Health Secretary stated that a “Medical Audit”, not for punitive action, but for learning from the mistakes and correcting the system, is also need of the hour. In addition, he laid stress on regular monitoring of services through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which may be reviewed through field visits and review meetings.
On this occasion Dr. Harshvardhan released the Assessor’s Guide for Quality Assurance in PHCs, on the occasion. Those present included Mr Lov Verma, Union Health Secretary, Dr Jagdish Prasad, Director-General of Health Services, Dr Sanjiv Kumar, Executive Director, National Health Systems Resource Centre, and Mr C.K.Mishra, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Health, and mission directors of all states of the country.