Earlier this month, a very forgotten-type of policy was announced. After 15 years, India got a new National Health Policy 2017. Since in a democracy the government often delivers what the people demand, such a lapsed policy revision, after 2002, could be blamed on the people. On what they demand from their elected representatives. But there’s another plausible explanation for this apathy. It’s the mirror opposite. Like Alice peeping Through the Looking Glass in Lewis Carroll’s sequel. The policy did not move at all in 15 years, but the topmost bureaucrat in this ministry moved the fastest.
Check-in, check-out: India’s fast-moving health bureaucracy
After 15 years and 12 secretaries, a new health policy is in place. If the administrative bureaucracy isn’t reformed, public and private care will remain parallel tracks
For reasons of retirement, political interference or a personal choice, health secretaries have had short tenures
Brief tenures may work in regulatory departments like coal or mines. But in social sectors, the top bureaucrat’s aptitude and length of stay make all the difference
Healthcare is a challenging sector, and bureaucrats often view it as less glamorous than commerce or finance
With a new health policy in place, it’s time the government empowered the secretary with resources and a long tenure