Stakeholders at Odisha Vikash Conclave 2016 have outlined the theme to and design the road map as a part of good governance and sustainable development.
Health being the cornerstone of economic growth of the nation, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to health assumes profound importance. However, India’s progress in health related MDGs has been mixed with a greater reduction in child mortality and inadequate progress in maternal health. Across the states the progress is uneven and there are pockets within states, where inequality persists across social groups.
In Odisha, in addition to the existing burden of maternal and child health nutrition challenges, the under-resourced public health system with inadequate infrastructure including human resources and limited multi-sectoral initiatives exacerbate the health problems. Though the share of public expenditure in Odisha has increased after introduction of the National Health Mission (NHM), it is not adequate to reduce the out-of -pocket expenditure (OOP) of the people. As per a recent assessment, Odisha faces worst shortage of doctors in public health facilities with around 30% of doctors’ posts vacant at various levels and similar is the case with specialist doctors. However, health staff such as nurses and midwives/population ratio is slightly better than that of the physicians but not adequate.
In this context, the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda which seeks to ensure universal health coverage, including financial risk protection and access to quality essential health-care services to all, has potential to improve the states’ unfinished health agenda. Unlike MDGs, the SDGs will apply a different set of ideologies as well as strategies to address the health challenges. The SDGs philosophy moves in the lines of rights-based approach and no longer an issue of charity but one of justice.
However, the preparedness of the State in terms of policy actions to achieve these objectives needs to be thoroughly delineated setting verifiable indicators. Along with this, the current policy and programme deficits must be identified and make concrete policy actions drawing experiences from the best practices to strengthen the health care system in the State. Across states, innovations abound in health, many of which are cost-effective and can be replicated.
Given the scenario, the session on ‘Health’ in the Odisha Development Conclave-2016 would focus on the following key areas for discussion and deliberations and to come out with key policy asks.
• Resource allocation in health
• Governance and Human Resources for Health
• Public Health and Community Outreach
• Sharing of good practices and the opportunity to scale up