National Health Policy

A major step in ensuring that all citizens, living in both urban and rural areas, have access to universal health care is the central government's approval of the much-anticipated national health policy on March 15, 2017. The nation's largest public health effort, it combines a commitment to putting this commitment into action through specific policy decisions with a vision of a healthy India.

What is National Health Policy?

The National Health Policy's main objective is to inform, clarify, prioritize, and strengthen the government's role in shaping the health system in various dimensions, including investments in health, disease prevention and promotion through cross-sectoral actions, the organization of healthcare services, human resource development, access to technologies, and more.

  • To direct upcoming health initiatives, India's federal government releases the National Health Policy (NHP) on a regular basis.

  • A review of the policy was published in the Journal of the Indian Medical Association in 1979.

  • The Government of India has released three NHPs. The three NHPs (2017) are NHP (1983), NHP (2002), and NHP (2017).

  • By the year 2000, every Indian would have access to primary care, according to the initial NHP from 1983.

  • The Central Council of Health and Family Welfare adopted proposals on oral health submitted by the Indian Dental Association in 1986 for inclusion in future planning.

  • One of the 2017 policy's applications is the Ayushman Bharat The National Health ID system is currently the topic of discussion.

It has greatly benefited from Prime Minister Modi's eagerness to implement a national health program.

  • Since the Modi administration took office in May 2014, efforts have been made to create a new national health strategy. A draft national health policy was made available to the public by the government in December 2014.

  • Since it was last updated in 2002 by the administration of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the national health policy has not been amended for the previous 15 years. As a result, the national health policy was developed this time with the express intent of addressing the disparities and resolving the new issues in India's health system.

Goal of NHP

The goal of the policy is to ensure that every person, regardless of age, has the best possible health and well-being. This is accomplished by incorporating health promotion and prevention into every developmental policy. Additionally, it emphasizes ensuring that everyone has access to high-quality health care services without anyone having to suffer the effects of financial hardship.

This will be accomplished by expanding access, raising service standards, and cutting costs across the board for healthcare. The policy acknowledges the significance of the Sustainable Development Targets and includes a sample list of time-bound quantitative goals that are in line with existing efforts at the national and international levels.

Key Principles of NHP

The following are the principles of National Health Policy-

Professionalism, Integrity, and Ethics

The National Health Policy pledges to deliver the best levels of professionalism, morality, and ethics possible. With the help of a reliable, accountable, and transparent regulatory framework, it seeks to preserve the same throughout the entire system of health care delivery services worldwide.


In order to help the poorest, inequity must be reduced. This requires the complete eradication of inequity caused by factors such as gender, caste, poverty, disability, and other types of social exclusion, as well as physical impediments. Higher investments and financial protection are therefore necessary for those who are poor and deal with serious illnesses or medical issues.


Affordability, as opposed to equity, demands the most attention as the expense of healthcare rises. It is undesirable for a household to incur catastrophic healthcare costs, which are defined as costs that surpass 10% of the total monthly consumption budget or 40% of the budget for non-food purchases.


Preventing any exclusion based on current economic, social, or health conditions. In this place, services and mechanisms are created to meet the needs of every person, including members of special groups.

Patient-centeredness and Care Quality

Healthcare services that include gender must be discreet and provided in a convenient and safe manner. Every level of the facility needs to have health standards and medical guidelines that are developed, distributed, and protected from deterioration.


The NHP has prioritized digital initiatives heavily. As part of the Digital India program, an online registration system has been implemented at 71 hospitals around India. Public hospitals' digitization has reduced patient wait times and freed up physician time. Mera Aspataal, a patient-focused feedback system, has been introduced. The key areas for patient dissatisfaction have been highlighted by Mera Aspataal's data sets. To sum up, it can be concluded that India will be able to fulfill the goal of affordable healthcare for all thanks to the major improvements that are anticipated to be made in the health sector through the National Health Policy interventions.


Q1. When was National Health Policy launched?

Ans. The changed circumstances relating to the health sector of the country since 1983 have generated a situation in which it is now necessary to review the field, and to formulate a new policy framework as the National Health Policy-2002.

Q2. What is an illustration of a national health policy?

Ans. For instance, smoke-free regulations can encourage quitting attempts and help prevent smoking from beginning. Similar to this, laws requiring fluoridated water from community water systems can enhance dental health. The key to improving health across the country is establishing informed policy.

Updated on: 17-Feb-2023


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