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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1801-1803

Protecting national interest through public health policy - Why does India need to shift from selective primary health care (disease focused vertical programs) to a comprehensive health care model; lessons from COVID 19 pandemic!

National President, Academy of Family Physicians of India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Raman Kumar
049, Crema Tower, Mahagun Mascot, Crossing Republic, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, PIN 201016

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_950_21

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The COVID virus and the pandemic are defying the general laws of epidemiology and virology. The pandemic shows how the economy can be crippled due to health care. Health is a key area which directly drives the economy. Incapacity in health policy leaves us vulnerable as a country. Global organizations and development partners have been too keen to lend technical help, policies, and procedures to India. Gone are the days when India used to receive any international funding in the health sector but at present most of the money is our own. We often take stewardship for implementation of these surrogate policies and procedures countrywide. The International donors and development partners pushed India on the path of selective primary care - disease based vertical programs. It was part of a geopolitical strategy. It is not resources but capacity. Capacity to make any innovation or change. There is a need for a new public health order in India. A massive change; a massive reform. Covid is an opportunity to think, push for institutional capacity building. As far as COVID pandemic is concerned, we need to strengthen the general health system in India, and not yet another vertical National Covid Control Program (NCCP) - Eliminate Covid by 2050; committing all national resources to one disease only. There is an urgent need for India to shift from selective primary health care to a comprehensive health care model. We have capacity and resources, we only need a national resolve! It is time to protect national interest. We cannot keep ourselves artificially vulnerable for ever.

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