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Union Cabinet approves National Health Mission (NHM) until March 2020

Union Cabinet approves National Health Mission (NHM) until March 2020

New Delhi: In a major boost to health infrastructure, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the continuation of the National Health Mission (NHM) with effect from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020 with a budgetary support of Rs 85,217 crore as Central share.

It also okayed continuation of the Prime Minister’s Development Package for Jammu & Kashmir 2015 — “Stepping up of support under creation of Infrastructure in District Hospitals, Sub-district Hospitals and Primary Health Centres over 5 years” — till 2020 with a budgetary support of Rs 625.20 crore as a total centrally-funded scheme.

“NHM has helped the country achieve the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) and will be the principal vehicle to achieve the SDG 3 (Sustainable Development Goals) targets including the target for UHC (Universal Health Coverage),” said an official statement.

NHM will continue to strengthen the public health systems, particularly in high priority districts and a shift from selective to comprehensive primary health care through strengthening of the SHCs/PHCs as Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) are some of its salient features.

Posting of a mid-level health provider at the level of the sub-centre who is trained in primary healthcare, emphasis on wellness by integration of AYUSH, horizontal integration of all vertical disease programmes to ensure integrated approach to health, special focus to reduce out of pocket expenditure and plan to expand basket of vaccines to all the states are some of the other features.

Through the extended NHM, the government expects to improve key health indicators like neo-natal mortality rate, infant mortality rate, under-five mortality rate, maternal mortality rate and total fertility rate.

The likely impact also lists down reduction in incidence of communicable diseases, reduction in out of pocket expenditure and improvement in coverage and utilization of routine immunization services and also those for non-communicable diseases.

IANS