India healthcare experts worry that health minister’s exit may affect public health initiatives

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 13 November 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6813
  1. Priyanka Pulla
  1. 1Bangalore

In a move that surprised many people the Indian union minister of health, best known for driving the success of India’s polio eradication campaign, has been moved out of the health ministry and appointed as minister of science and technology.

During his five month tenure as union health minister Harsh Vardhan, an ENT surgeon by education, had taken steps to weed out rampant corruption in the Medical Council of India, a statutory body that sets standards for higher medical education. He had also launched the ambitious National Health Assurance Mission, a $26bn (£16.5bn; €20.9bn) programme1 to provide free healthcare to all of India’s people by 2019. The mission was due to kick off in April 2015, but Vardhan’s sudden and unexpected removal from his post has raised concerns that these efforts may slow down or stop completely.

Ranjit Roy …

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