Voice of Healthcare Features - Dr. Harsh Vardhan, ministry of Health and Family Welfare in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new cabinet . (Health Minister of India) (Cabinet Minister)

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Dr. Harsh Vardhan - The Torch Bearer of Future Health Reforms in India.

Doctor-turned-politician, Dr. Harsh Vardhan who initiated a crucial national programme to tackle air pollution has been given the ministry of Health and Family Welfare in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new cabinet. Dr. Harsh Vardhan will also continue to hold Minister of Science and Technology and Minister of Earth Sciences portfolios. Even during the Modi Government’s first stint in 2014, Dr. Harsh Vardhan was appointed Minister of Health and Family Welfare and later, given the charge of the Ministry of Earth Sciences and Ministry of Science and Technology. He is Determined to make PM Sh Narendra Modi Ji’s vision for a ‘Swasth Bharat Samarth Bharat’ a reality.

The sixty-four-year-old was re-elected to the Lok Sabha from the Chandni Chowk seat, winning it by a margin of over 2 lakh votes this time. He has an enormous track record during his tenure as the health minister of Delhi from 1993-1998, he had undertaken a polio prevention programme which was emulated at the national level. He was awarded the Director-General’s Polio Eradication Champion Award Commendation Medal by the World Health Organization in 1998. Dr. Harsh Vardhan was at the forefront of the battle against tobacco and drug abuse and was instrumental in the enactment of several laws including the Delhi Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places and Non-Smokers Health Protection Act to tackle these problems. 

Subsequent to this the Supreme Court had directed all states to replicate this law and 12 states enacted similar laws. 

He, for the first time, implemented the Rational Drug Policy which was recognised by the WHO as the Delhi Model and was adopted by many countries. This tenure in Modi 2.0 has many meaningful and achievable expectations from him. Health is a complex subject but there has been a better understanding of the factors that determine health in the last few decades. Government and ministry of health alone cannot and will not succeed in achieving the goal of ‘ health for all’ unless every single person and every organization is galvanized to become a part to this concept and idea.

Few points of prominence from Dr. Harsh Vardhan’s own vision for a NEW MILLENNIUM HEALTH

  • Evolving a sound and workable health policy based on the assessment and evaluation of the achievements and failures of last 50 years; there is an urgent need to gather data on determinants of health as well as finding out the leading causes of morbidity and mortality

  • Step up a budget to at least 10% in health as well as education

  • Vaccines against all vaccine-preventable diseases to be made available to all children in the country

  • Working towards reducing the incidence of Non-Communicable Diseases (Cancer, Hypertension, Diabetes and COPD)

  • Revising the curricula of medical education to make it more adept to solving existing national health problems, – environment and health issues such as air pollution-related morbidity

  • Relocating and reorienting medical research to investigate gene-environment interaction and identifying the aetiology rather than the treatment of an illness.

  • Vulnerable groups like Women, Elderly & Children receive maximum attention in the policy of the Government.

  • Utilizing the ancient Indian wisdom that has withstood all scientific experimentation and scrutiny in our health decision making

  • New cost-effective and affordable technologies to be available in the health sector to all without discrimination

  • Better planned healthy cities continuously working for health movement.
  • Promoting environment and Eco-friendly technologies producing minimum waste

  • Promoting food safety, product safety, traffic safety, home safety and safety at workplace

  • Providing safe, efficient, affordable and easily accessible urban transport system-to save time, prevent exposure to pollution, eliminating the probability of accidents and injuries

  • Curbing exploitative strategies of pharmaceuticals and medical technology manufacturers

  • Essential drug policies to be implemented in the government and private sector vigorously- priority to be given to removing obstructions and barriers created by the vested interests

  • Business organization and citizens to participate actively in the health sector

  • Invest in woman’s health and development to eliminate gender discrimination and disparity

  • A cooperative system of healthcare that is neither governmental nor private, not for profit but owned and managed by the community

  • To look upon resource allocation for health as an investment rather than an expenditure.

From its platform, Voice Of Healthcare extends gratitude, first to the people of India for mandating a stable government, then to PM Shri Narendra Modiji to handover a sensitive department like Health and Family Welfare to a visionary like Dr. Harsh Vardhan. Over the next 5 years, the scenario of healthcare in India is bound to get revamped, reshaped and revitalized under the able guidance of Hon’ble minister. He is determined to lead the movement to spread scientific temper and rationalism on a nationwide scale. Since he is in charge of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences portfolios as well, the future augurs well for the growth of the nation as Health and MedTech superpower.

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