Health & Family Welfare

Investment in health and family welfare is the cornerstone of sustainable development. Since, provision of health care being a constitutional responsibility, the central and state governments need to give utmost priority to this sector. India’s commitment to the achievement of SDGs by 2030 in health and family welfare is to be seen not only from the angle of a globalmandate but from the government’s basic commitment to its citizens. Investment in health sector in the long term gives rich economic dividends too. The SDGs provide an ambience and an international justification for governments to take pro-active measures to improve health and wellbeing of its population. Post the UN Sustainable Development Summit, India has put forward an ambitious Draft National Health Policy in 2015, which covers health care delivery services very well. It talks about programmes for addressing Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases with the primary aim of “the attainment of the highest possible level of good health and well-being, through a preventive and promotive health care orientation in all development policies, and universal access to good quality health care services without anyone having to face financial hardship consequently.” It recognises the salience of preventive and promotive health, integration of AYUSH with main stream, and ensuring adequate investment. What is needed is concrete and comprehensive programmes on these lines. Unless that is done, the SDGs will remain a distant dream. As the policy itself recognises, “a policy is only as good as its implementation.”

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