Providing better health services to ensure healthy life
As per the report titled SRS Based Life Table 2013-17 published by the Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, Government of India, the average life expectancy at birth has increased from 49.7 during 1970-75 to 69.0 in 2013-17, registering an increase of 19.3 years during this period. As per the same report, the life expectancy at birth for male and female during 2013-17 were 67.8 and 70.4 years respectively. The State/UT-wise details are provided at Annexure. However, State/UT-wise average life expectancy of male and female in the rural and urban areas of the country may also be accessed from the report SRS Based Life Table 2013-17 available at the portal of Census of India (http://censusindia.gov.in/).
A cross-sectional multi-centric community based study of elderly population aged 60 years and above conducted jointly by the Government of India and WHO Country Office in India has revealed that diseases like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, ischaemic heart disease, poor vision, difficulty in hearing, anaemia, arthritis, fall/fractures, bowel complaints, urinary complaints, depression, weight loss, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, TB etc. are common among older patients.
Recognizing the need for specialized accessible health care for the elderly, the Government of India has launched various programmes, including the National Programme for Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE) and Integrated Programme for Older Persons such as Ayushman Bharat. These programmes aim to provide health care facilities to senior citizens (aged 60 years and above) at primary, secondary and tertiary health care delivery system and to further increase the average life expectancy of people. The Government of India has also enacted ‘Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007’.
The measures taken/proposed by the Government of India for providing better health services to ensure healthy life and to further improve the average life expectancy of the people in the country are as follows:
Mobilization of public health action at multiple levels
The Ayushman Bharat effort, with its two components of Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), addresses disparity in access and reduces out of pocket expenditure for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization for 40% of India’s population. The scheme provides hospital care for about 1,350 illnesses at secondary and tertiary level empanelled public and private hospitals. HWC encourages healthy choices and behaviours including Yoga and other physical activities.
National Health Mission (NHM) is creating a network of 1,50,000 HWCs by upgrading existing Sub Centres (SCs) and Primary Health Centres (PHCs) to provide Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC), which is universal and free to all those who access public health facilities. The CPHC basket of services cover 12 key service areas, which go beyond the Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) services to include screening and care for NCDs (diabetes, high blood pressure, oral, breast, cervical cancers etc.), elderly care, palliative and rehabilitative care, Oral, Eye and ENT care, mental health and first level care for emergencies and trauma etc.
Continuum of care is being provided to all elderly citizen of age above 60 years from preventive and promotive up to rehabilitation in Geriatric units of District Hospital, Community Health Centres and Primary Health Centres under National programme for Healthcare of Elderly (NPHCE).
Palliative care is being provided to terminal cases of Cancer, AIDS etc. under National programme for Palliative Care (NPPC).
Providing financial support in the form of untied funds, annual maintenance grants and Rogi Kalyan Samiti (RKS) funds for development of health facilities and ensuring services.
Providing infrastructural support to State/UTs in constructing new health facilities and/or for up-gradation of infrastructure, Mother & Child Health (MCH) wings, up-gradation of the trauma centres & First Referral Units, Operationalization of the blood banks etc.
Operationalizing health facilities in rural areas (through placement of human resources in difficult areas, supply of equipment, drugs and diagnostics).
In addition, certain new initiatives have been undertaken like the Screening for Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), Mothers Absolute Affection (to promote exclusive breastfeeding), Pradhan Mantri Shurakshit Matratva Abhiyan (to improve access to specialist maternal care through voluntary participation of private providers), Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Program, Mission Indradhanush (to immunise partially or uncovered population), Rashtriya Swasthya Bal Karyakram (RBSK), Kayakalp (to promote cleanliness, hygiene and Infection Control Practices in public Health Care Facilities), Labour room quality improvement initiative- LAQSHYA (Initiative to reduce preventable maternal and new-born mortality, morbidity and stillbirths associated with the care around delivery in Labour room and Maternity OT and ensure respectful maternity care), Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN) (to end all preventable maternal and neonatal deaths) etc.
The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Sh Ashwini Kumar Choubey stated this