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Central Council Of Health And Family Welfare Conference

  • 11 Oct 2019
  • 5 min read

Recently, the 13th Conference of the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare (CCHFW) was held in New Delhi.

Key Highlights

  • The purpose of the meeting was to build a consensus on the national health priorities.
  • It focused on two priority areas for the public health sector:
    • Increasing health budgets by the Centre and the States/UTs.
      • According to the National Health Policy (NHP), 2017, there has to be a collective increase in healthcare spending by the Centre & States/UTs to meet the goals of healthcare spending of 2.5% of GDP by 2025.
    • Strengthening of medical infrastructure.
  • In the conference, the emphasis was laid upon four pillars of healthcare, which include,
    • Mission mode interventions,
    • Quality, accessible, and affordable healthcare services,
    • Universal health coverage, and
    • Adequate health infrastructure.

Central Council of Health and Family Welfare (CCHFW)

  • It is an apex advisory body set up under Article 263 of the Constitution to provide support and advice to the Department of Health, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on policy formulation and to consider and recommend broad lines of policy in regard to matters concerning health.
  • The first meeting of the CCHFW was held in 1988.
  • Organizational Structure of Council:
    • Chairperson: Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare,
    • Vice-Chairperson: Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare.

Article 263 of the Constitution

  • Article 263 contemplates the establishment of an Inter-State Council to effect coordination between Centre and states. Thus, the President can establish such a council if at any time it appears to him that the public interest would be served by its establishment.
  • Therefore, the president has established the following councils to make recommendations for the better coordination of policy and action in the related subjects:
    • Central Council of Health.
    • Central Council of Local Government and Urban Development.
    • Four Regional Councils for Sales Tax for the Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern Zones.
  • To mark the occasion of World Sight Day (a global annual event observed on the second Thursday of October) report on ‘National Diabetes & Diabetic Retinopathy Survey India 2015-19’ and on ‘National Blindness & Visual Impairment Survey India 2015-19’ were released.
    • Major findings of the survey in India are:
      • One in eight persons above 50 years is Diabetic,
      • One in every 46 diabetics is Blind; and
      • One in seven suffers from some form of visual impairment due to high blood sugar levels.
  • Initiatives Launched:
    • Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN): This initiative aims to achieve zero preventable Maternal and Newborn Deaths. On the occasion, its website and the grievance redressal portal was also launched.
      • According to the NITI Aayog data, Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) has dropped by 8% in India to 130 per 100,000 live births. The aim is to get it in line with the Sustainable Development Goal of 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.
    • Other initiatives: The minister unveiled two info-leaflets on Suicide Prevention to mark the World Mental Health Day,
      • Guidelines on Drugs and Diagnostic Service Initiative,
      • Guidelines for Biomedical Equipment Management & Maintenance Programme, and
      • Guidelines for Peritoneal Dialysis under Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme.

Way Forward

  • There is a need for enhanced engagement with the private sector for augmenting the efforts of the public sector, to bring in equity by increasing the number of beds and hospitals, so as to meet the global standards of health infrastructure.
  • Without the political leadership and commitment of the States & UTs, healthcare cannot be effective. As highlighted in Economic Survey 2017-18 the cooperative federalism “technology” of the GST Council that brings together the Center and States could be promisingly deployed to meet the desired targets.

Source: PIB

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