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Healthcare sector in India has witnessed significant growth both in quality and capacity during the last few years. Lower cost of healthcare as compared to developed countries, coupled with international quality has positioned India as a major destination for healthcare services. In spite of such developments, healthcare facilities in country remain inadequate to meet the needs of the citizen particularly in rural areas, where approximately 70% of the people live. Therefore despite progress made in improving healthcare delivery, there is general inadequacies of various health related infrastructure including mainly per capita availability of doctors, nurses, other para medical staff, hospitals, beds and also quality medicines at affordable costs.

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is responsible for provision of healthcare/health services for all citizens. To reduce the imbalance that remain in availability of tertiary care hospitals/medical colleges providing speciality/super speciality services across various states and to mitigate the sufferings of people from underdeveloped States, a scheme known as Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) has been launched to develop AIIMS like institutions in select States. The Ministry consists of the following three departments:

  1. Department of Health
  2. Department of Family Welfare
  3. Department of Indian System of Medicine & Homeopathy

In order to make a substantial improvement in the health status of the country, the In order to make a substantial improvement in the health statuGovernment of India on 12th April 2005 launched the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) with an aim to focus on Primary healthcare for a period of seven years. The main aim of NRHM is to provide accessible, affordable, accountable, effective and reliable primary healthcare facilities, especially to the poor and vulnerable sections of the population. It also aims at bridging the gap in rural healthcare services through creation of a cadre of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) and improved hospital care, decentralization of programme of district level to improve intra and inter-sectoral convergence and effective utilization of resources. The Mission further seeks to build greater ownership of the programme among the community through involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions, NGOs and other stakeholders at National, State, District and Sub-district levels to achieve the goals of National Population Policy 2000 and National Health Policy.

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