India's Health Infrastructure | 13 Feb 2023

Prelims: PM-ABHIM, ADB, World Bank, National Health Mission, NITI Aayog.

Mains: India' Health Infrastructure.

Why in News?

Recently, the Indian government has signed loan agreements to borrow up to Rs 13,879 crore to strengthen health infrastructure from international agencies.

What are the Key Points of the Agreement?

  • Loan agreements have been signed with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for USD 300 million and with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for 50 billion Japanese Yen.
  • The World Bank has approved USD 1 billion IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) for PM-ABHIM.
    • IBRD is the lending arm of the World Bank.

What is PM-ABHIM?

  • About:
    • It is one of the largest pan-India schemes for strengthening healthcare infrastructure across the country.
    • It is in addition to the National Health Mission (NHM).
    • It aims to provide support to 17,788 rural Health and Wellness Centres in 10 ‘high focus’ states and establish 11,024 urban Health and Wellness Centres across the country.
  • Objectives:
    • To ensure a robust public health infrastructure in both urban and rural areas.
    • Establishing an IT-enabled disease surveillance system.
    • All the public health labs will be connected through the Integrated Health Information Portal, which will be expanded to all states and UTs.
  • Major Initiatives:

What is the Need for Improving Healthcare Infrastructure in India?

  • Many primary healthcare centres (PHCs) lack basic infrastructural facilities like beds, rooms, toilets, and drinking water facilities, clean labour rooms to deliver babies, and electricity regularly.
    • According to the Rural Health Statistics from MoHFW 2021, there are a total of 5439 PHCs in the urban areas and of 3966 PHCs in the tribal area.
  • The NITI Aayog report 2021 titled ‘Reimagining Healthcare in India through Blended Finance’ highlighted that 50% of India’s population has access to 35% of hospital beds, thus indicating a strong need to strengthen healthcare infrastructure to ensure access to healthcare facilities for all.

Way Forward

  • In order to address the challenges related to healthcare, there is a need for better healthcare infrastructure in India, including increased investment in the construction of new healthcare facilities, the improvement of existing facilities, and the training and recruitment of more medical professionals.
  • This will help to improve access to quality medical care and reduce the financial burden on patients.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)


Q. Which of the following are the objectives of ‘National Nutrition Mission’? (2017)

  1. To create awareness relating to malnutrition among pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  2. To reduce the incidence of anaemia among young children, adolescent girls and women.
  3. To promote the consumption of millets, coarse cereals and unpolished rice.
  4. To promote the consumption of poultry eggs.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1, 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 4 only
(d) 3 and 4 only

Ans: (a)


  • National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan) is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, GoI, which ensures convergence with various programmes like Anganwadi services, National Health Mission, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, Swachh-Bharat Mission, etc.
  • The goals of National Nutrition Mission (NNM) are to achieve improvement in nutritional status of children from 0-6 years, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers in a time bound manner during the next three years beginning 2017- 18. Hence, 1 is correct.
  • NNM targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight of babies. Hence, 2 is correct.
  • There is no such provision relating to consumption of millets, unpolished rice, coarse cereals and eggs under NNM. Hence, 3 and 4 are not correct.
  • Therefore, option (a) is the correct answer.


Q. “Besides being a moral imperative of a Welfare State, primary health structure is a necessary precondition for sustainable development.” Analyse. (2021)

Source: TH