The enunciation of a National Health policy by the Government of India in 1982 raised hopes among those concerned with India's poor health that the government is serious about its commitment to provide "health for all”. Sceptics may hold that, like other proposals espousing equality and social transformation, the National Health policy is a Machiavellian stroke - that the Government does not at all intend to implement it. Others may view the policy as grandiose and over-ambitious-impossible to implement.
However, given the undeniable need for a massive and concerted attack on national health problems - which requires a departure from entrenched ways - the policy can act as a stimulus for health planners and practitioners to formulate a strategy for its implementation. This work aims to identify aspects of the policy which are crucial to national health, and discuss how these can best be implemented:
Dr. Meera CHATTERJEEE is Senior Social Development Specialist at The World BankImplementing Health Policy