17 ministries part of NHM body, one MoS chairs 6th meet

National Organ Donation day
Ministers of state Ashwini Choubey and Anupriya Patel with health secretary Preeti Sudan

Ashwini Kumar Choubey says 8000 health and wellness centres are functional

Cabinet ministers skipped the meeting of the Mission Steering Group (MSG), the highest decision making body of the National Health Mission. Minister of state for health Ashwini Kumar Choubey was the only minister present. The MSG comprises 17 ministries.

“The Government is rapidly moving forward in providing Comprehensive Primary Health Care through Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs). I am happy to inform that about 8000 HWCs have become operational in 35 states / UTs,” Choubey said.

Speaking at the meeting, Choubey said that NHM is vital to supporting the states in improving their health systems.

Currently all 36 states have notified policy to provide essential drugs free of cost in public health facilities

Among others present at the meeting were Dr. V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) and Manoj Jhalani.

It was highlighted that under NHM-Free Drug Service initiative, funds are being provided to states/UTs for provision of free drugs in public health facilities and setting up of IT-backed systems for drug procurement and quality assurance.

Currently all 36 states have notified policy to provide essential drugs free of cost in public health facilities. Under NHM Free Diagnostics Service Initiative, substantial funding is provided to States within their resource envelope to provide free essential diagnostic services at public health facilities.

The program has been rolled out in States/UTs which are providing free diagnostic Services either in-house or in PPP mode.

The MSG of the NHM discussed various agenda points including enhancement of reach, outlay and facilities within components of the NHM, Prevention and Control of Viral Hepatitis, Immunization, Comprehensive Primary Health Care, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Newer Intervention under Revised National TB Control Programme with respect to Patient’s Support and Private Sector Involvement, capacity building of health workers, etc.

Many suggestions were also made by the non-official members of the MSG.

Representatives from Ministries of AYUSH, Tribal Affairs, WCD, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Panchayati Raj, Rural Development, Urban development, Department of Higher Education, Social Justice and Empowerment were also present at the meeting, along with members from the civil society and other experts in the field of healthcare.