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5) Health and Wellness centres as envisaged in Ayushman Bharat will play a key role in strengthening primary health care in India. Discuss. (250 words) 

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Topic: Issues related to health

5) Health and Wellness centres as envisaged in Ayushman Bharat will play a key role in strengthening primary health care in India. Discuss. (250 words) 

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Why this question

The article discusses the importance of strengthening primary health care, highlights why PHC is important and the ways through which Health and wellness centre can be a vital step towards improving primary health outcomes. In light of Ayushman Bharat scheme and the fact that health and wellness centre form an important component of the scheme, the question becomes important.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first briefly focus upon why improving PHC is critical. Thereafter, we need to explain what health and wellness centres seek to achieve and how they focus on strengthening primary health care. Next, we need to bring out the obstacles going forward and discuss what needs to be done.

Directive word

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that the Union government’s policy push for developing health and wellness centres is a well thought out step for renewing focus on comprehensive primary care.

Body

  • Discuss why focussing on PHC is critical – to reduce out of pocket expenditure, most developed nations have a strong PHC network etc
  • Explain the objective of creating Health and wellness centres – National Health Mission too has planned to strengthen sub centres as Health & Wellness Centers (H&WCs) for implementing public health programmes better and to enable comprehensive primary health care service delivery, including disease prevention and health promotion. The policy expresses the specific need of providing healthcare in the farflung corners of the country through upgraded sub centers by converting them into Health & Wellness Centres.
  • Discuss the advantages of Health and Wellness centres – These centres are intended to provide outpatient care, immunisation, maternal and child health services, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and other services. These centres will be linked to secondary and tertiary care and will be supplied with adequate drugs and diagnostic services. Once developed, these centres will help ameliorating basic health problems including early diagnosis and treatment of NCDs, avoiding complications in the latter stage and thereby, lessening costs of treatments. This would translate into reduction of costs at the secondary- and tertiary-care levels.
  • Discuss the advantages offered by this approach over the current approach.

Conclusion – Discuss in your opinion the balance of advantages and limitations of the said approach and highlight way forward.