J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare released the National Health Profile (NHP)-2018 prepared by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI), on 19 June 2018. The E-book (digital version) of the annual document was also released. The National Health Profile covers demographic, socio-economic, health status and health finance indicators, along with comprehensive information on health infrastructure and human resources in health. At the function, J P Nadda also launched the National Health Resource Repository (NHRR) – Country’s first ever national healthcare facility registry of authentic, standardised and updated geo-spatial data of all public and private healthcare establishments. Present at the occasion were Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Anupriya Patel, Ministers of State for Health and Family Welfare, Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health) and Santanu Chowdhury, Director (NRSC, ISRO).
Speaking at the function, Nadda stated that the Health Profile is a very important tool as it has helped in designing various programmes. He cited the examples of initiatives like Free Drugs and Diagnostics and Mission Parivar Vikas that have benefitted from the Health Profiles. Nadda further said that India has made substantial progress on several indicators in the recent years and stated that its national health indicators like Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Maternity Rate (MMR) and Total Fertility Rate (TFR) are declining faster a than the world pace. The Union Health Minister added that India has shown impressive gains with 22% reduction in Maternal Mortality since 2013. “We must also appreciate that Uttar Pradesh with 30% decline has topped the chart in the reduction of Maternal Deaths,” he said.
Nadda further said that Ayushman Bharat will provide comprehensive healthcare to the people as 1,50,000 sub-centres will be converted into Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs). “The H&WC would provide preventive, promotive, and curative care for non-communicable diseases, dental, mental, geriatric care, palliative care, etc. He further stated that the Government has initiated universal screening of common NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension and common cancers along with Tuberculosis and Leprosy, which will eventually help in reducing the disease burden of the country. This will again change the Health Profile of the people in future.
The Union Health Minister stated that the data is an important source of navigation. It helps in understanding the goals, our strengths and weaknesses and it is also an important means to strategise. Good compiled data enables the policymakers to make evidence-based policies and aids effective implementation of various schemes, he added. He also advised that NHRR should have inbuilt process for updating the data so that the system is relevant for times to come. J P Nadda congratulated and appreciated the CBHI team for their initiatives regarding use of geo-mapping.
Addressing the participants, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare stated that data is not only important for understanding the health indicators of the Country, but it also provides an opportunity to monitor the situation. He further said that the National Health Profile – 2018 indicates that significant progress has been made in the country for various health outcomes, which is an encouraging sign. “While the data help in understanding the gaps and monitor the progress of various health programmes/schemes implemented by the Government, they are essential for the reliable and timely monitoring of the progress in SDG indicators to which we are committed,” Choubey added
Speaking at the function, Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare stated that the Health Profile will help future policy making to address the new challenges on our health system such as epidemiological and demographic transitions and health-impacting environmental changes. “I must put on record that the Government is committed to meet these challenges and strive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage and SDG goals,” She added.
The vision of the NHRR Project is to strengthen evidence-based decision making and develop a platform for citizen and provider-centric services by creating a robust, standardized and secured IT-enabled repository of India’s healthcare resources. NHRR will be the ultimate platform for comprehensive information of both, Private and Public healthcare establishments including Railways, ESIC, Defense and Petroleum healthcare establishments. Under the Collection of Statistics Act 2008, over 20 lakh healthcare establishments like hospitals, doctors, clinics, diagnostic labs, pharmacies and nursing homes would be enumerated under this census capturing data on over 1,400 variables.
The Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI) has actively engaged with key stakeholders including leading Associations, Allied Ministries, and several private healthcare service providers. This resource repository shall enable advanced research towards ongoing & forthcoming healthcare challenges arising from other determinants of health like – disease, environment etc.
Approximately 4,000 trained professionals are dedicatedly working to approach every healthcare establishment for information collection. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is the project technology partner adhering to paramount Data Security.
The key expected outcomes of the NHRR project are to provide comprehensive data on all health resources including private doctors, health facilities, chemists, and diagnostics labs, establish a National Health Resource Repository for evidence based decision making – aligned with Digital India mission. It shall also enhance the coordination between central and state government for optimisation of health resources, making ‘live’ and realistic state Project Implementation Plans (PIPs) and improving accessibility of data at all levels, including State Head of Departments, thus, decentralise the decision making at district and state level.
Some key benefits of the NHRR Project are to create a reliable, unified registry of Country’s healthcare resources showing the distribution pattern of health facilities and services between cities and rural areas. Additionally, it shall generate real-world intelligence to identify gaps in health and service ratios, and ensure judicious health resource allocation and management. It shall identify key areas of improvement by upgrading existing health facilities or establishing new health facilities keeping in view the population density, geographic nature, health condition, distance, etc.
Also present at the launch function were Dr S. Venkatesh, DGHS, Dr. Madhu Raikwar, Director CBHI and senior officers of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and CBHI.