Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Strengthening healthcare through ABHIM

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ABHIM

Mains level : Paper 2- ABHIM

Context

The Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (ABHIM), announced recently, seeks to realise greater investment in the health system as proposed in the Budget, implement the Fifteenth Finance Commission recommendations such as strengthening of urban and rural primary care, stronger surveillance systems and laboratory capacity.

Measures of ABHIM

  • It will support infrastructure development of 17,788 rural health and wellness centres (HWCs) in seven high-focus States and three north-eastern States.
  • In addition, 11,044 urban HWCs will be established in close collaboration with Urban Local Bodies.
  • The various measures of this scheme will extend primary healthcare services across India.
  • Areas like hypertension, diabetes and mental health will be covered, in addition to existing services.
  • Support for 3,382 block public health units (BPHUs) in 11 high-focus States and establishment of integrated district public health laboratories in all 730 districts will strengthen capacity for information technology-enabled disease surveillance.
  • To enhance the capabilities for microbial surveillance, a National Platform for One Health will be established.
  • Four Regional National Institutes of Virology will be established.
  • Laboratory capacity under the National Centre for Disease Control, the Indian Council of Medical Research and national research institutions will be strengthened.
  • Fifteen bio-safety level III labs will augment the capacity for infectious disease control and bio-security.

Way forward

  • There is a need to train and deploy a larger and better skilled health workforce.
  • We must scale up institutional capacity for training public health professionals.
  • Private sector participation in service delivery may be invited by States, as per need and availability.
  • ABHIM, if financed and implemented efficiently, can strengthen India’s health system by augmenting capacity in several areas and creating a framework for coordinated functioning at district, state and national levels.
  • Many independently functioning programmes will have to work with a common purpose by leaping across boundaries of separate budget lines and reporting structures.
  • That calls for a change of bureaucratic mindsets and a cultural shift in Centre-State relations.

Conclusion

The ABHIM can fix the weaknesses in India’s healthcare system.

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