Government aided schemes and programmes are run by the Central Government for the health and welfare of the citizens. The people of the country are one of its most valuable resources. These programmes are aimed at increasing the standard of health of the people and decreasing the incidence of disease and death due to illness. The government aided schemes include immunization drives, special steps to deal with epidemics, programmes for elimination of dangerous diseases, and numerous education and training programmes.
According to the Indian Constitution, State Governments are responsible for maintaining and bettering the health of the people who live under its jurisdiction. The main policy, framework and support are enumerated by the Centre while the States devise their own models of accomplishing the Central Government's health related goals.
Following are various schemes and policies related to health that have been launched for the benefit of the citizens of India.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS is a life threatening disease, which is a major cause of concern for the government. As the cure for AIDS is not known as yet, it is important that people acquire as much preventive information about AIDS as possible.
The government’s major AIDS control initiative is the National AIDS Control Programme and the premiere AIDS agency is the National AIDS Control Organization or NACO. This organization aims to create a place in India where every person living with HIV is treated with dignity and has access to quality care. Every State has a State AIDS Control Society run by the State government. These State societies are a part of NACO.
Tuberculosis or TB is an infectious disease, which takes the lives of about 1.6 million people each year. The magnitude of the disease is so severe that two people die of TB every three minutes in India.
Keeping in mind the tremendous burden of suffering caused by TB, The National Tuberculosis Programme was established in 1962 to create an infrastructure for the control of the disease throughout India. On the basis of a review, the government adopted the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme. This program recommended the Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course or DOTS strategy, as a pilot project in 1993. The programme was later launched as a national programme in 1997.
The programme covered 30 per cent of the country’s population by the end of 2000, and by March 2006 the entire country was covered under DOTS.
Hepatitis is also known as "inflammation of the liver". The most common cause of infection is one of the five viruses, called Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Among these forms, the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is a major cause of concern. In India, it is estimated that at least 100,000 people die every year due to illnesses caused by HBV infection.
Realizing the dangers of Hepatitis B, the government expanded the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) to include Hepatitis B vaccine in the year 2002. This was done in 33 districts and 15 large cities with support from Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations or GAVI, as a pilot project. In the year 2004, in the pilot project, 1.2 million children were vaccinated, with three doses of Hepatitis B. The government plans to make the reach of the vaccine nationwide soon.
Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY)
The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) was approved in March 2006. It aims at correcting the imbalances in availability of affordable/reliable tertiary level healthcare in the country in general and augmenting facilities for quality medical education in the under-served states.
The scheme envisages setting up six institutions like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), one each in the States of Bihar (Patna), Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal), Odisha (Bhubaneswar), Rajasthan (Jodhpur), Chhattisgarh (Raipur) and Uttarakhand (Rishikesh) and upgradation of 13 existing medical institutions. Till date, this scheme has been extremely successful.
Employee State Insurance Scheme
With the intention to protect the interest of workers in contingencies such as sickness, maternity, temporary or permanent physical disablement and death due to employment injury resulting in loss of wages or earning capacity the government promulgated Employees State Insurance Act, 1948. The Act guarantees reasonably good medical care to workers and their immediate dependants. The scheme of ESI, which was first implemented in Kanpur and Delhi, is administered through Employees State Insurance Corporation.
The ESI scheme provides six social security benefits to employees: Medical benefit, sickness benefit, maternity benefit, disablement benefit, dependant’s benefit and funeral expenses. In addition to these benefits, the insured workers get certain other benefits as well.
Janani Suraksha Yojana
The Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) is a centrally sponsored scheme aimed at reducing maternal and infant mortality rates and increasing institutional deliveries in below poverty line (BPL) families. The JSY, which falls under the overall umbrella of National Rural Health Mission, covers all pregnant women belonging to households below the poverty line, above 19 years of age and up to two live births.
National Rural Health Mission
The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) is a government scheme that aims at providing valuable healthcare services to rural households all over the country. It specially focuses on the 18 States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
National Programme for Control of Blindness
The major diseases that affect eyes are Cataract, Glaucoma, Age Related Macular Degeneration, Squint, Detached Retina, Myopia and Hypermetropia. As eyes are the most precious organs of our body, it is important to take necessary steps to keep them healthy and disease free.
The Government launched the National Programme for Control of Blindness in 1976 to achieve a prevalence rate of 0.3 per cent of total population. To control blindness, district blindness control societies are also established across the country and a number of NGOs play a crucial role in controlling blindness in India.
Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS)
The Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) in India provides health care facilities to CGHS beneficiaries, which include All Central Government Servants paid through Civil Estimates, Pensioners drawing pension from Civil Estimates and their family members, Members of Parliament and Ex-MPs, Judges of Supreme Court of India, Ex-Governors and Ex-Vice Presidents, former prime Ministers, Employees and Pensioners of Autonomous Bodies, Former Judges of Supreme Court of India and High Courts and Freedom Fighters.
Under CGHS, health services are provided through Allopathic, Homeopathic and Indian system of medicines. The medical facilities are provided through dispensaries/polyclinics and the chief medical officers/medical officers are in charge of the dispensaries for the smooth functioning of the scheme.
These are some of the many health related schemes run by the Indian Government for the welfare of the people and improving the overall Indian health sector.