Bangalore International Centre had arranged a panel discussion on “National Policy on Health and its convergence on the ground” on Monday, 18th January, 2016 at 6.30 PM at its Auditorium. The panellists present were Prof. Gita Sen and Dr. Thelma Narayan. The discussion was chaired and moderated by Dr. Nirmala Murthy.
Through a power-point presentation, Dr. Thelma Narayan traced the evolution of the National Health Policy during the pre-independence and post-independence period. She stressed the fact that knowledgeable experts have been contributing to this evolutionary process which took definite shape with the enunciation and the first National Health Policy in 1983. The policy was adopted by the Parliament and recommended to the States. Subsequently, after taking into account experiences and recent developments, another draft National Health Policy was formulated in 2015. No final view has been taken so far.
In an incisive analysis, Prof. Gita Sen emphasised the fact that public expenditure on health as a percentage of GDP in our country has been abysmally poor. As a result, the deprived and the weaker sections of the populatin have suffered very badly. Apart from the overall equity issue, this has also affected women more than men in both rural and urban areas. Prof. Sen also highlighted the complementary role the Civil Society and the NGOs can play in energising and encouraging community-level health-providers at local levels.