New Delhi: Public health is a State subject, the primary responsibility to provide quality healthcare services to the people lies with State and Union Territories. To supplement the efforts of State governments to improve healthcare services, particularly in rural areas including hilly and tribal areas, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was launched in 2005.
The NRHM has now been subsumed under the overarching National Health Mission (NHM) with the National Urban Health Mission as the other sub-mission.
The healthcare services in tribal areas of the country vary from State to State. Under the NHM, support is provided to States and Union Territories to strengthen their health systems like setting up and upgrading public health facilities, augmenting health human resource on contractual basis, drugs and equipment, diagnostics, ambulances, mobile medical units, etc for provision of equitable, affordable healthcare to all its citizens including the poor and vulnerable population including tribal population based on requirements posed by the States in their programme implementation plans.
To ensure focus on quality, the Centre also helps the States implement the National Quality Assurance Framework and Kayakalp. Under the NHM, all tribal-majority districts whose composite health index is below the State average have been identified as high priority districts. These districts are expected to receive more resources per capita under the NHM as compared to the rest of the districts of the State. These districts also receive a focussed attention and supportive supervision. Norms for infrastructure, human resource, ASHAs, MMUs etc under the NHM are relaxed for tribal and hilly areas.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.