The government ever since has come to power has been giving importance to basic health issues through initiatives like Public Health in ‘Swatccha Bharat’ where they have addressed better sanitation for all. ‘Ayushman Bharat’ by financing tertiary care expenses for those who are below the poverty line, the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jana Aushadhi Yojana’ where generic medicines are made extremely affordable, and culminating into ‘Health Policy 2017’ where it rightly gives importance to Wellness & Health and invites all sections of healthcare providers to participate in the Nation’s Health Outcomes.
The current budget brings the focus back on preventive health, which should not be misinterpreted as a signal to build more and more sophisticated hospitals and sophisticated equipment with diminishing returns in health outcomes of a nation. Instead, the focus should be on keeping an individual healthy and spending money on their wellbeing. This is only possible if we have a robust primary care system amid a community and not a downgraded and neglected PHC as it is present today.
Performance linked incentives are genuine methods of financing which should be applied to the health sector as well. Any healthcare provider that provides measurable better health outcomes in the community it serves must be incentivised and rewarded for better performance. The accountability principle for all the stakeholders, service receiver, provider and the institution that is financing such system should also be appreciated.