National Health Policies in Practice: An Explorative Analysis for India
The health ministry of India has released three National Health Policies (NHPs) since independence. These are guiding documents for the government for their health-related expenditure. Till 2017, India allocated central resources through five-year plans (FYPs) formed by the Planning Commission. Thereafter, the newly formed National Institution of Transforming India or the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog released its first 3-year action agenda for different sectors. We study the translation of these policies in practice, by comparing policy recommendations with the FYPs. This article also compares the recommendation of the NHP, 2017 with the first 3-year agenda of the NITI Aayog. This explorative analysis also studies the cohesion between the three policies. Hence, it helps to identify five key issues in translating these policies to practise for and provides suggestions. Our study indicates that the NHPs in India need to be released frequently while incorporating tools of accountability, need to generate evidence on which policy decisions can be made, need to be inter-sectoral, but coordinated within different agencies of the government and need to have cohesion with budgetary allocations for allowing a better analysis.
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