BJP at its best might have learnt the lesson from the previous healthcare manifesto. This time around, for the first time, BJP announces National Health Assurance Mission with a clear mandate to provide accessible and affordable healthcare. This is much like the Aam Aadmi Party Manifesto where they are likely to table the Right to Healthcare, if they form a government.
Emphasis is laid on modernizing and updating technology and infrastructure in government hospitals. BJP’s vision is to set up the AIIMS in every state, this is reflected in every speech, but lacks the mechanism to improve the current situation of India’s premier hospital. In UPA II, it was evident in some cases; center and AIIMS authorities have shown the inability to treat some people due to lack of money and technology, when the Supreme Court had intervened and directed AIIMS.
Like Congress, emphasis is given on setting up medical and para-medical colleges in every state. For the first time, an RSS repertoire like in shakhas, introduced the engaged course on yoga. Ayurveda has also been given special attention and they are likely to open an institution.With the introduction of the pre-emotive care model, the focus and thrust is on the child’s health. In the manifesto, even a lip service is not given to eradicate female foeticide. The manifesto declares setting up a mission with emphasis on rural, SC, ST and OBC for women’s healthcare.
BJP has said that India needs a ‘comprehensive healthcare policy’. A new mass mission has been launched to introduce ‘Swach Bharat 2019’. They emphasized on creating a campaign against open defecation; to build toilets in every household and setting up modern sewage management systems. BJP in its manifesto has promised to provide potable drinking water. This would be a challenge in the major metro cities especially New Delhi, where water pollution since 2009 reached an alarming stage.
However, the manifesto is still not clear on the tackling of chronic and non-chronic diseases like malaria and cancer. The work on paper has been done but a major challenge would be the implementation of healthcare policies.
“The current situation calls for radical reforms in the healthcare system with regards to national healthcare programs and delivery, medical education and training and financing of healthcare,” it said. Several steps such as modernization of government hospitals, setting up an AIIMS like institute in every state and use of Yoga and Ayurveda medicines have been propagated.