Experts welcome inclusion of NCDs in draft National Health Policy

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Medical practitioners and health policy analysts across India have strongly advocated the need for an integrated action plan to address the growing burden of non‐communicable diseases(NCDs) in the country. The strengthening of primary healthcare network is necessary to ensure the success of its action plan. The promotion of mainstream alternate therapies like Ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy can also result in providing cost‐effective management of NCDs, as these conditions require lifelong management.

While lauding the inclusion of NCDs for the first time in the draft National Health Policy 2015, it is being termed as a formative step towards achieving the vision of healthy India. The health experts emphasised that it is important to have a result‐oriented action plan, with specific focus on awareness and early diagnosis, systematic approach to NCDs, healthcare financing, and training and development of healthcare workers and paramedical staff. Apart from taking its toll on health, NCDs also affect productivity and economic growth. Increased vulnerability of ageing population to NCDs is resulting in economic stress on both the private households and government. A unique combination of disease‐specific insurance products, medicines, innovative technology and lifestyle changes can be very beneficial in thwarting the challenge posed by NCDs.

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