In a drive to provide immunisation for all children aged below 5, the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front government in Kerala has unveiled the draft of its new health policy that proposes mandatory vaccination certificate for admission to class-I students from the next academic session. The policy also mentioned that strict action will be taken against persons campaigning against the vaccination. The state Cabinet had on February 20 given its official go-ahead to the medical policy that sought a standard treatment guideline covering all hospitals, including private medical institutions. According to the medical policy, the hospital and health centres have to publicise the entire treatment procedure and cost of every treatment. The draft further notes that transgender clinics will be set up at every district hospital to bring them under the state’s health system.
The development is aimed at ensuring the menstrual hygiene of girl children in schools and to try and get installation of napkin vending machines and sanitary disposal facilities compulsory in schools from upper primary level. The health draft also mentions that an antibiotic guidelines committee will be formed to prepare an antibiotic policy. Generic names of medicines will be made mandatory in prescriptions so that doctors refrain from prescribing expensive variants of the same drugs. Health Minister K K Shailaja said that the new health policy will set parameters for the future course of action in the health sector.
The policy also aims to bring down maternal mortality from 66 per lakh to 30 and infant mortality from 12 to eight as part of the short-term goals of the policy. According to the draft, major long-term goals include establishment of universal health system that will be free of cost and comprehensive. Healthy lifestyle and reducing maternal and infant mortality rates are among other long-term goals.