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April 2017

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NCDs – A Key Priority Area for the Government

Over the last 10-15 years, there has been a drastic shift in the disease burden pattern in India from communicable to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In the present scenario, NCDs have taken a driver seat, accounting for 53% of disease burden and 60% of all deaths in India, and increasing rapidly. What’s more worrisome is the high out-of-pocket expenses incurred by individuals due to NCDs which often leads them into poverty.

Therefore, the need of the hour is to have a more aggressive and strategic approach to address the disease burden. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is already undertaking several key initiatives in this regard under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancers, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS), and the recently released National Health Policy suggests directives with a clear focus on addressing and tackling NCDs, with emphasizes on screening, prevention, financing and patient care.

To know more about the Ministry’s plan of action, especially after the new health policy, PFCD engaged in a candid conversation with Shri Rajeev Kumar, Director in Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

Q. How do you analyse the New National Health Policy 2017? How it will provide a boost in the Ministry’s efforts to address NCDs?

A. The new national Health Policy is a milestone for planning and strategy in health sector as it was developed after a rigorous process of considering suggestions from over 5,000 stakeholders as well as consultations with the State Governments and other prominent influencers. One of the most crucial aspects is a suggestive increase in public health spending to 2.5% of GDP in a time-bound manner, which has been a call from all quarters.

So far as NCDs are concerned, prevention, screening, treatment, support, rehabilitation and palliative care, all aspects are important. Moreover, the whole of the society and whole of the Government response is

needed to prevent and control NCDs. New Health Policy envisages this strategy and underlines the importance of focusing our efforts on prevention and control of NCDs.

The Policy would guide the efforts to address NCDs as it focuses on several key aspects, including preventive and promotive healthcare, strengthening of primary healthcare services, capacity building, and universal access to good quality services without anyone having to face financial hardship as a consequence.

To deal with the shortage of health workforce, the policy advocates development of mid-level service providers, nurse practitioners, public health cadre to improve availability of appropriate health human resource.

Additionally, the policy proposes to provide free drugs, free diagnostics and free emergency and essential healthcare services in all public hospitals as it constitutes the major portion of out-of-pocket expenditure.

Q. NCDs are the leading causes of death and disease
burden worldwide. Each year, about 60% of the total deaths registered in India are due to NCDs. The economic and social ramifications of growing NCDs are disastrous. How is the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare gearing up to address the fast-changing disease pattern in the country?

A. Under the National Health Mission (NHM), up to thedistrict level, the States are being supported to provide accessible, affordable and quality health care through National Health Programme (NHP).

Under NPCDCS, a programme being implemented under NHM, the Government of India is implementing interventions up to the district level. It has focus on awareness generation, screening and early diagnosis of persons with high level of risk factors and their treatment and referral (if required) to higher facilities for appropriate management, development of human resource and setting
up of infrastructure such as NCD clinics.

Some of the key initiatives currently being undertaken are:

Guidelines for implementation of the National Dialysis Programme have been developed and shared with the States. Under the programme, more than 1 lakh patients have undergone about 11 lakhs dialysis sessions in various district hospitals in the country.

Operational guidelines have already been released for implementing population level screening for diabetes, hypertension and common cancer (breast, cervical and oral). The training of frontline workers – the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) – will also be initiated while detailed protocols for treatment, referrals and follow-up on these disease conditions will be provided.

The Central Government, through its hospitals, augments the efforts of the State Governments for providing health services in the country. Under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), six new All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) have been made operational. Meanwhile, the upgradation of identified government medical colleges/institutions for higher specialty facilities has been undertaken.

Under the Tertiary Care Cancer Centre (TCCC) Scheme, the Government of India is assisting States to set up / establish State Cancer Institutes (SCIs) and TCCCs across the country.

AMRIT (Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment) stores are being set up, where essential lifesaving medicines for cancer and CVDs are being provided at a substantial discount.

Q. There seems to be growing realization that screening and primary care needs to be effectively strengthened in the country in the wake of the growing cases of NCDs.

A. Screening and primary care are considered as the two most crucial aspects when it comes to effectively managing and addressing NCDs. The early diagnosis and screening of NCDs, coupled with strong primary care settings will help us onset the rise in the number of NCD cases. As already mentioned earlier, the Ministry is
already working towards the screening of five major NCDs, as part of which 1,000 sub-centres would start undertaking screening soon across 100 districts across the country soon.

National Health Mission and several schemes, such as Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), Tertiary Care Cancer Centre scheme, provide support to the State Governments for strengthening of health infrastructure at primary and secondary level.

The new National Health Policy envisages providing a larger package of assured comprehensive primary healthcare through the ‘Health and Wellness Centers’, which includes care for major NCDs, mental health, geriatric healthcare, palliative care and rehabilitative care services. The policy also advocates for a need to allocate major proportion of resources to primary care and aims to ensure availability of two beds per 1,000 population distributed in a manner to enable access within golden hour.

Q. Is the ministry planning a national check-up programme to screen the general population of early signs and symptoms of diabetes, hypertension, and cancer?

A. The Government of India is already implementing a National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, CVD and Stroke, in all the State Governments and Union Territories (UTs) under National Health Mission (NHM). The programme has objectives of awareness generation among masses and of opportunistic screening for common NCDs. It is recognised that prevention and screening are important in our strategy to prevent and control NCDs in the country. The Government of India is initiating population level screening for common NCDs, such as hypertension, diabetes and common cancer i.e., breast, cervical and oral.

Under this programme, the frontline health workers such as ASHAs and ANMs, inter alia are being leveraged to carry out screening and generate awareness about the risk factors of NCDs. Initially, 100 districts across the country are identified for implementation of the programme. The Union Government has already shared the operational guidelines under this scheme with the States/ UTs with the request to submit their proposals in their state specific Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs) for assistance under the National Health Mission.

The Union Government has already shared the operational guidelines under this scheme with the States/ UTs with the request to submit their proposals in their state specific Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs) for assistance under the National Health Mission.

Q. Despite increasing demands to increase the current level of public spend from the current level to address the growing NCD burden, the ministry seems to be facing a bigger challenge of inequity in terms of the capacity displayed by some states to deliver. How is NCPCDS dealing with the situation?

A. There is no denying of the fact that capacity of the States in delivering healthcare vary across India. There are flagship programmes like NHM, PMSSY under which the efforts of the States are supplemented to provide equitable, affordable and accessible healthcare. There are multiple mechanisms through which resource allocation to the States are linked with status of development, absorptive capacity and other financial indicators. The States are incentivized to increase spending on public health as well as to improve the delivery of healthcare. There are some externalities which negatively impact the healthcare delivery in certain areas. These are addressed through different policy options. The new National Health Policy envisages increase in health expenditure as percentage of GDP upto 2.5 % by 2025. Our TCCC schemes also provide support to underserved areas. In many of the schemes, the State share is around 10% for hilly and NE States, while it is quite higher for others. NPCDCS has two components, one under NHM and another to provide tertiary care for cancer. The same mechanisms, as explained above are used to promote equity in terms of capacity to deliver healthcare.

Q. Fighting NCDs require a multi-stakeholder approach; active support from other ministries. How is MoHFW involving other ministries in its endeavour?

A. In response to the growing burden of NCDs, the Government of India has developed a draft National Multi Sectoral Action Plan (NMAP 2017-2022) for prevention and control of NCDs to guide multi-sectoral efforts towards attaining the National NCD objectives. The action plan is based on four strategic areas (Integrated and Multisectoral Coordination Mechanisms; Health Promotion; Health Systems Strengthening; Surveillance, Monitoring, Evaluation and Research) with a goal to promote healthy choices, reduce preventable morbidity, avoidable disability and premature mortality due to NCDs in India through a whole of government approach.

The NMAP was circulated to 39 Departments under various Union Government Ministries for their inputs on action plan as well as requesting them to appoint a Nodal Officer at the level of Joint Secretary to coordinate their response within the NMSAP framework. Out of the all, about 31 Ministries/Departments have also nominated their Nodal Officers for coordination for the NMSAP.

The MoHFW has organized several inter-ministerial consultations on the NMAP for prevention and control of NCDs. The objectives of the consultation are to enhance the engagement of the Government stakeholders including NCD Nodal Officers in endorsement and implementation of the NMAP, thereby facilitating the transition from commitment to action for national NCD response.

Need for Health Financing Reform Strategy to Promote
Progress towards Universal Health Coverage
By Dr Charu C Garg1

India’s health care system is underfinanced, with the government spending just 1.15% of its Gross Domestic product (GDP)2 on health services. This is clearly reflected in different performance indicators, be it inadequate infrastructure, shortage of healthcare professionals, low access to primary health services, among others. Adding to the woes, private out-of-pocket expenditures (OOPE) on health is dominant with 64.2% of all health care spending in the country. In addition to household direct spending, private health insurance, health care provision and reimbursements by firms and industries, NGOs and charitable institutions account for about 8% of all health care spending.3 Coverage under private insurance is very narrow and is limited mostly to major urban areas and tertiary heath care services.

India, with 17.84% of the world’s population, is at high risk of economic implications due to the growing burden and pre-mature mortality due to NCDs. Every year, roughly 5.8 million Indians die from heart and lung diseases, stroke, cancer and diabetes accounting to 60% of all deaths in the country. One in 4 Indians risks dying from an NCD before they reach the age of 704. Although India has one of the largest disease burdens in the world, it continues to be a small spender ranking 166 from among 199 WHO member countries5 with per capita public spending on health at Rs. 1042 in 2013-146. While efforts have been undertaken to strengthen the health system with varying degrees of success, a large part of the population are still left to fend for themselves to meet their health care expenses.

In the last decade, there has been renewed interest in revitalizing the public health system through increased government spending through National Health Mission and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and other pro-poor state specific insurance programs.

The 12th five-year plan; High-Level Expert Group on UHC7 and program implementation framework of NRHM and the recent National Health Policy 2017 have all emphasised the need to raise government expenditures to 2.5% of GDP by 2025 and increase states sector health spending to more than 8% of their budget by 2020 . The policy has also emphasised on Universal Health Coverage to reduce inequities in health and also reduce the proportion of households facing catastrophic health expenditure from the current levels by 25%, by 2025.

The total population coverage under any kind of insurance in India is about 32% or 41 crores in 2013-148. Social health insurance covered 8.8 crore individuals, Government-based insurance (RSBY and state level) covered 26 crore individuals, and 6.09 crore individuals are covered by private health insurance policies (employer/group based, individual and community health insurance). There is poverty link to increased coverage with almost 2/3rd increase (180 million) is in the population below the poverty line. The government spending through Social Security Mechanism and government-based voluntary health insurance schemes (prepayments through CGHS, ESI, and RSBY etc) is about 17% of government spending on health and the rest is direct spending on health and disease control programs9. Spending through voluntary prepayment mechanisms (insurance) is only about 5% of private spending10.

Current government allocations towards health care at 28.6% of total health expenditures are insufficient to fulfill the goal of Universal Health Coverage, as well as for designing sustainable and contemporary health systems that can keep pace with technological, demographic and epidemiological shifts in the country.

Gaps and Challenges
Inefficiencies in spending: Evidence indicates that in India, a commitment to increasing government health spending was necessary but is not sufficient to achieve the government’s goals in the absence of efficiency and accountability. Several initiatives for improved financial management of resources and targeted resource allocation based on population needs are already in place under the National Health Mission (NHM): flexibility in central funding for States through Program Implementation Plan; higher allocation at 42% of the divisible pool of taxes in line with the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission; and 30% more funds to 183 High Priority Districts are some of the examples. However, operational modalities under the NHM programme and at state level needs to improve: the capacity to plan as per epidemiological, population and health system needs; implementation of programs, through greater managerial supervision or other special interventions, have not been able to empower the weaker states to benefit, continuing with low absorptive capacity in these states11. Moreover, the untied funds earmarked for improving health facility have been interpreted differently by conventional health administrators and is not leading to desired health outputs.

Leakages in the system:Leakages in the system: Evidence show that almost 1/3 of the health budget is compromised due to leakgaes and malpractices in the health system. This has roots in many areas from recruitment to transfer or promotion, to malpractices in the pharmacies, blood banks and diagnostic centres, and leakages related to construction and maintenance13.
Low priority to health in state’s budget: Analysis of state health expenditures in 2013-14 shows that most of the states spent less than 1% on health from their state domestic product (SDP), with few North-Eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir spending about 2% of their SDP14. Maharashtra and Haryana spent even less than 0.5% of their SDP14. The average growth rate of Centre’s spending in relatively worse performing States has been lower than the better performing States. These have implications in the context of the Centre’s role in bringing about equity in health services15.
Low investment in primary care: Government expenditures in primary care which are considered cost-effective are still low at 45% of total health expenditures. If the investments in secondary and tertiary care continue to increase with the increasing insurance sector, the share of primary care investment will continue to be low.
High out-of-pocket expenditure: The National Health Policy 2017 reports 63 million people are pushed into poverty due to out-of-pocket expenditures on health in India based on the 2004-05 estimates. Recent estimates show 7.5% of population are impoverished due to OOPE16. High out-of-pocket expenditure in India has a catastrophic impact on the household budget, reducing consumption of non-health goods and services, and thereby pushing over 17% families into poverty, further limiting access to additional needed healthcare in the future17.

What needs to be Done
Increase government spending: Global evidence suggests that it is necessary to increase government spending to achieve reduced out-of-pocket payments. Expansion of government budgets for health or coverage through subsidised health insurance mechanisms reduced out-of-pocket payments as a percentage of total health expenditures e.g. for Thailand from 30% to 8% between 2001-2014 and is lower than the average rate of 15% for OECD and European Union countries18. Government spending for health has remained at 3.8% of general government spending,19 whereas the average government spending on health as proportion of general government spending is about 9% in South East Asia, 10% in Africa and 15% in Western Pacific Region20. Increased public expenditures on health to 2.5% of GDP by 202521, would require Centre to maintain the average annual spending growth of 20% or more and that states on aggregate would need to increase spending on average by 22-38% per year to attain this target22.
Effective utilisation of resources: With the global agenda focusing on the Universal Health Coverage, the focus has been also on how to use resources efficiently. Primary healthcare integrated with financial protection for improving health outcomes and preventing catastrophic expense is also considered as a way forward for achieving UHC with minimal resources. Such an approach benefits the entire population, shifts focus from ‘sick care’ to ‘health care’ and reduces the need for hospitalization/ tertiary care. The emerging model for organizing health care of “integrated service delivery networks” which are organized as close-to-client networks of primary care providers – public, private or mixed – backed up by hospitals and specialized services, is the need of the hour.
Improve efficiency and equity of government spending: Efficiency in allocation and utilisation of government finances is very critical. There is a need of a flexible financing mechanism supported by institutional mechanisms for governance and accountability and a robust monitoring mechanism. Incentives for states, districts, and facilities need to be aligned in a manner to put appropriate systems to improve the efficiency of programmes and directing larger resources to the needy: the poor, elderly, and disabled. Wasteful expenditures on expensive branded medicines when quality generics are available, unnecessary prescription and diagnostics need to be cut and more focused spending according to epidemiological and population need is required. Emphasis should be on primary and secondary prevention. Newer technologies such as telemedicine should be explored further to reduce large OOPE on transport. Strategic purchasing from the private sector should be only keeping the public health goals in mind.

Supplementary financing mechanisms: Although, innovative ways such as contribution by corporates as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility, private sector engagement, incentives for insurance etc. can be explored as supplementary financing mechanisms, tax revenues have to be the principle source of finance for both the Central and State governments that need to substantially increase their spending on health. Meanwhile, the Governments also need to develop strategies to be more efficient in the way they use funds allocated for health.
Pre-Pooling: Risk pooling and prepayment functions are central to the creation of cross-subsidies between high-risk and low-risk individuals (risk subsidy), as well as between rich and poor (equity subsidy). The larger the pool, the greater the potential for spreading risks and the greater the accuracy in predicting average and total pool costs. Placing all participants in a single pool and requiring contributions according to capacity to pay rather than individual or average pool risk can facilitate cross-subsidization, reduce out-of-pocket expenditures and can significantly increase financial protection for all pool members. Mandatory social health insurance mechanisms have worked well in countries such as France and Germany to reduce OOPE.
Drugs and Diagnostics: Statistics reveal that 72% of out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare is on account of drugs and diagnostics. Free provision of essential drugs to all patients accessing public health facilities, brings huge savings to the patients without burdening the government as much (since bulk procurement of generics costs only a small fraction of cost of branded drugs), and is one of the easiest and quickest option to improve access to essential medicines and reduce OOP expenses. A package of essential diagnostics, if available free of cost in public health facilities, would not only reduce the burden on the BPL and vulnerable but would also be accessible to middle class sections who get financially stressed on account of expensive health care diagnostics. However, general improvement in quality and availability of service needs to continue to attract more people towards the public sector.

i. The author is Advisor, Health Care Financing, National Health System Resource Center, MoHFW; Visiting Professor Institute for Human Development and international consultant for Health System and Policy. The author is grateful to J. Prateebha from NHSRC and Gaurav Chaudhary from PFCD for compiling some inputs for this paper. The view in this paper are those of the author and not of the organisation
ii. National Health Systems Resource Centre (2016), National Health Accounts Estimates for India (2013-14). New Delhi: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
iii. National Health Systems Resource Centre (2016), National Health Accounts Estimates for India (2013-14). New Delhi: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
iv. Global Status Report on Non Communicable Diseases 2014, World Health Organisation, Geneva
v. WHO Global Health Expenditure database accessed fromhttp://apps.who.int/nha/database/Key_Indicators/Index/en
vi. National Health Systems Resource Centre (2016), National Health Accounts Estimates for India (2013-14). New Delhi: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
vii. HLEG Report on UHC,2011, Planning Commission of India
viii. Health Insurance Expenditures in India 2013-14, NHSRC, MoHFW, GOI, November 2016
ix. National Health Accounts. Estimates for India 2013-14, NHSRC, MoHFW, GOI, August 2016
x. Health Insurance Expenditures in India 2013-14, NHSRC, MoHFW, GOI, November 2016
xi. Peter B et al, Government health financing in India: Challenges in achieving ambitious goals, Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Discussion Paper, December 2010
xii. Independent Commission on Development and Health in India, VHAI(Need to provide year for both these references
xiii. Independent Commission on Development and Health in India, VHAI
xiv. Health Sector Financing by Centre and States/UTs in India (2013-14 to 2015-16), NHA Cell, MOHFW, GOI;
http://www.mohfw.nic.in/showfile.php?lid=3700

xv. Mita Choudhury H.K. Amar Nath ,An Estimate of Public Expenditure on Health in India, 2012, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP)
xvi. Ravi et. al. 2016 “Health and Morbidity in India (2004-2014),” Brookings India Research Paper No. 092016, Brookings Institution India Center: New Delhi
xvii. Karan A, Selvaraj S and Mahal A,2014, “Moving to Universal Coverage? Trends in the Burden of Out-Of-Pocket Payments for Health Care across Social Groups in India, 1999–2000 to 2011–12, PLOS ONE
xviii. Global health expenditure database WHO and World bank (accessed 1 4 17) www.who.int/nha and http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.XPD.OOPC.TO.ZS
xix. National Health accounts Estimates for India 2013-14, NHSRC, MoHFW, GOI. August 2016. Economic survey 2013-14 shows expenditure on health including water supply and sanitation is 4.6 % of general government expenditures.
xx. World Health Statistics Report, 2014, WHO
xxi. National Health Policy 2017
xxii. Peter B et al, Government health financing in India: Challenges in achieving ambitious goals, Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Discussion Paper, December 2010

Is the National Health Policy 2017 Really Worth
the 15 Year Wait?

The Union Cabinet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the much-awaited National Health Policy on March 15 2017, finally adopting a plan that was being drafted for more than a year and a half. The last National Health Policy was framed in 2002, and this one has come out to address the current and emerging challenges necessitated by the changing socio-economic, technological and epidemiological landscape. The Draft National Health Policy was placed in public domain on 30th December 2014. Over 5,000 suggestions were received. This was followed by consultations with the state governments and other stakeholders for further fine tuning of the policy. The policy was placed before the Central Council for Health & Family Welfare, the apex policy making body and was unanimously endorsed by it.

Union Health Minister JP Nadda, in his address, termed the policy as a huge milestone in the history of the health sector in the country, explaining that it would address the current and emerging challenges necessitated by the changing socio-economic, technological and epidemiological landscape.Tweeting about the developments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “the National

Health Policy marks a historic moment in our endeavor to create a healthy India where everyone has access to quality healthcare”.

The Policy has emphasized on the growing burden of non-communicable diseases and increasing impoverishment due to high out-of-pocket expenditure on health. The Policy envisages to provide complete access to primary, secondary and tertiary services to all segments of the society through preventive, promotive and curative care. This can be achieved by enhancing access, improving quality and lowering healthcare costs.

After taking a closer look at the Health Policy, it indicates that the Government, for the very first time, has recognized the role of a public-private partnership in order to plug the gaps in the public systems. Training, skill development, community training for mental health, disaster management and purchasing of services are some of the key areas where the private sector will be contracted. Infectious disease control, immunisation services, disease surveillance and health information and manufacture of medical devices are the other key areas where the Government is seeking support of the private sector.

On the flip side, the Policy failed to address several key issues such as inadequate healthcare workforce, under-utilisation of existing resources, and unregulated market mechanisms in public-private partnerships. In some aspects, the National Health Policy 2017 seems to be a repackaged version of the 2002 policy. It is important to note that neither the 2002 policy nor the 1983 policy have been able to achieve their listed targets. The 2002 policy called for an increase in health spending to 2% of GDP, which has not been achieved until now. The 2002 policy also sets infant- and maternal-mortality and disease elimination targets, similar to the 2017 policy, to be achieved by 2010. Similarly, the 1983 policy envisioned to carry out all births by trained attendants by 2000; however, one in four births were still not supervised by a trained attendant in 2015.

Learning from the previous mistakes, it is important for the Government to draw an outcome-based action plan to achieve the desired targets. Looking at the dual burden of disease in the current scenario, coupled with the huge economic losses due to it, we cannot afford to just draw another health plan without putting in our efforts to achieve it till the last mile.

PFCD India :2016 in Review

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a non-profit organization working towards addressing the continuously growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India. PFCD’s efforts are focused towards engaging with prominent stakeholders as well as policy makers to find solutions and raise awareness towards NCDs. 2016 had been a great year for PFCD India as we got the opportunity to engage with key government officials both at the centre and state level as well as further solidify our presence/position as a catalyst working in the area of NCDs. PFCD managed to generate some key insights and outcome in the area of healthcare financing as well as engaged with key government officials basis its evidence-based National Blueprint – “SANKALP- Disha Swastha Bharat ki”, a one-of-its-kind initiative in India.

Following are some of the key milestones for PFCD India in 2016:

Roundtable Discussion on Health Care Financing

Roundtable Discussion on Health Care Financing PFCD organized a high-level roundtable discussion, titled “Need for a Multi-Payer Approach to Ensure Quality Health Care for All”, on August 17th 2016 in New Delhi. Several prominent experts including health economists, academics, insurance and public health specialists, patient groups, and representatives from industry deliberated on the need to increase public health spending and reduce the out-of-pocket expenditure on health. The roundtable had two panel discussions; the first focused on analyzing mechanisms to increase public spending on health, while the second deliberated the need for a multi-payer approach and the role of the central government, states and commercial insurance providers in reducing out-of-pocket expenditure due to NCDs.

Engagement with NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog, a Government of India policy think-tank, invited PFCD India to participate in a consultation meeting along with other health care financing experts and senior policy researchers from several organizations, think-tanks including WHO, The World Bank, USAID, BMGF and PHFI. The purpose was to assist the NITI Aayog in the development of the Chapter on Health in the Vision document through a consultation on ‘Health Financing’. The NITI Aayog has been mandated to formulate a Vision and strategy for the period beyond the Twelfth Five Year Plan.

Healthcare Sabha 2016

The Indian Express Group and Express Healthcare organized the first edition of the Healthcare Sabha 2016 – The National Thought Leadership Forum on Public Healthcare. The two-day event was supported by the National Health Mission of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. PFCD Chairman Dr Kenneth Thorpe was one of the dignitaries to inaugurate the Healthcare Sabha along with Navin Mittal, Secretary Finance & Commissioner Government of Telangana, Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India and Dr Srinath Reddy, President, PHFI.

ICRIER’s International Seminar

The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), a not-for-profit economic policy think tank, organized an International Seminar on “Tackling Chronic Diseases in India” on May 23 2016 in New Delhi. Aman Gupta, PFCD Country Representative (India) delivered the keynote address at the seminar and talked about the importance of a multi-stakeholder partnership to manage NCDs as well as advocated for a need to increase public health spend and introduce multi-payer system to deal with the challenges related to high out-of-pocket expenditure in India.

Union Budget 2016: Candid Conversation with India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

PFCD Chairman Dr Kenneth Thorpe participated in Rajya Sabha TV’s flagship programme ‘Spotlight’ on March 2 2016. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was the Chief Guest and the session was moderated by veteran TV and print journalist Govindraj Ethiraj. The session had a selected set of 25-30 senior officials across sectors who had the opportunity to directly interact with the Finance Minister on the 2016 Union Budget released on February 29.

Release of Advocacy Paper: NCDs in the Development Agenda

PFCD India, with technical support from the National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC), developed and released an advocacy paper – “NCDs in the Development Agenda”. The objective behind this initiative is to sensitize decision makers at all levels towards the growing burden of NCDs in India and shape their opinion towards a multi-stakeholder approach. PFCD India circulated the advocacy paper to all the concerned ministries and departments both at the centre and state level in order to contribute towards building awareness and preventive strategies.

Launch of Jaanbachao – A Campaign to Promote Healthy Lifestyle

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis launched Jaanbachao campaign to promote healthy lifestyle on Wednesday, 26th October 2016 in Mumbai. PFCD partnered with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) for the initiative along with other notable organizations including Bhamla Foundation, Asian Heart Institute, among others. During the launch event, the MCGM felicitated the partner organisations associated with the cause by presenting a memento through Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

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