Health care

The national health plan manages the state of the public health system

The National Health Mission (NHM) has been an important initiative aimed at achieving universal access to health care. NHM is focused on strengthening health services, improving human skills, and ensuring the availability of essential medical facilities, with a focus on tribal and underserved areas. These joint efforts reflect India’s commitment to improving public health and making healthcare accessible to every citizen.

Through various programs, India has made remarkable improvements in key indicators related to population stability, maternal, infant and child health and infectious diseases. The average rate of decline in such indicators in India is higher than the world average, especially for maternal, infant and under-five mortality rates. However, the national health care system is constantly challenged by the growing population, the emergence of new diseases, the changing and appropriateness of care for certain clinical conditions, and the quality of services.

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Strengthening the health system

Despite the planned interventions, challenges remain in terms of underutilization of public health facilities, inappropriate and/or unsafe treatment, misdiagnosis and disrespectful services. . These issues are caused by factors such as poor infrastructure, lack of health resources (HRH), and poor quality of care. These challenges are directly related to unexpected, premature and preventable death, reduced health, financial burden on individuals, and loss of trust in the public health system.

Keeping these issues in mind, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has adopted a different strategy to intervene in time and solve the problems ahead.

One of the interventions in this direction is to improve service delivery across the care levels in rural and urban areas through the revised Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS), 2022. These standards they provide a comprehensive framework for the development of aspects of health care delivery. system across community health centers. A key aspect of the IPHS guidelines is their emphasis on essential (minimum) and achievable (desirable) services. Each level of health care facility is required to provide minimum services to ensure the provision of guaranteed health care. The guidelines specify the criteria for procedures, equipment, drugs, testing, human resources, etc., which help countries / UTs in planning and ensuring consistent and reliable care.

The main objectives of the IPHS are multi-faceted and aligned with national health service delivery plans. Although the IPHS focuses on improving access by redesigning population practices to create health care facilities at the time of care, it also provides ideas for creating a hassle-free system for patient referrals and to ensure that health services are provided in a convenient and dignified manner. reduced financial burden for all.

Since the IPHS provides detailed information for each level of care across public health services, MoHFW simultaneously prioritizes the need to improve the quality of care to prevent unnecessary treatment inappropriate and unsafe, missing diagnosis and providing decent care in public health facilities. MoHFW’s extensive National Quality Assurance Standards (NQAS) program has been designed and implemented to ensure that services in public health care facilities are not only safe and patient-centered, but also quality assured. . This project focuses on addressing gaps in understanding, measuring and improving the quality of health services.

Enhancing quality and equity in health care

The delivery of health care in health facilities is a critical component that affects patient outcomes, safety and overall patient satisfaction. It also helps improve the overall health of the community, enhance patient experiences, and improve the provider experience by reducing the cost of care.

Ensuring the availability of emergency services in health care facilities increases the trust of citizens in public health care facilities, as shown by increased footfall and better relationships with stakeholders everyone. The implementation of NQAS has also ensured the compliance of health facilities in terms of regulatory requirements and fire safety preparedness, etc.

Ensuring the quality of health care also addresses inequalities and ensures that all patients, regardless of their background or circumstances, receive equal care. This is important for achieving health equity and social justice and is in line with the government’s principle of ensuring the well-being of all.

To learn from the recent epidemic, and to prepare for future public health emergencies, the Indian Public Health Systems, has the largest pan-India mission in terms of infrastructure support, i.e. that, Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM). The primary focus is on operational processes and monitoring processes, and ensuring access, efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of services through cost-effective integrated laboratory systems. Public Health Lab (IPHL) has been created as an integral part of PM-ABHIM. Not only would these laboratories provide fast, reliable and accurate test results, but they would also establish district and sub-district level linkages for effective diagnostic and testing services. , thus complementing India’s initiative to build a robust healthcare system.

With many regional and national trends and unique regional health care challenges, the Government of India continues to strive to improve health care by introducing ts’ in the provision of safe, efficient, patient-centred, timely, efficient and equitable health services.

To sum up, the IPHS guide acts as a beacon of change, lighting the way to a future where health centers work with a defined set, as required for the provision of services at each level of care. By setting standards and ensuring their implementation, IPHS aims to make health services affordable, accessible and dignified, especially for vulnerable and vulnerable groups. suffering.

Similarly, the implementation of National Standards of Quality Care in public health facilities has resulted in the provision of health services that are essential for ensuring safe, effective care. efficient and patient-centered, leading to improved health outcomes, improved patient experiences, and improved health service delivery. a more effective public health system.

These reform efforts promise to improve health outcomes, reduce the burden of preventable diseases, and create a new sense of self-confidence and trust in the government’s health care system.

Dr JN Shrivastava is a consultant and Dr Abhay Dahiya is a consultant in the Department of Quality and Patient Protection and Dr K Madan Gopal is a consultant, and Dr Swarnika and Dr Arpita are working as senior consultants in the Health Department of Community, National Institute of Health Services, MoHFW, Government of India.

These are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of or the ‘Business Standard’ newspaper.

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