National Health Mission (NHM) is an Indian health program for improving health care
delivery across rural India. The mission, initially mooted for 7 years (2005-2012),
is run by the Ministry of Health. The scheme proposes a number of new mechanism
for healthcare delivery including training local residents as Accredited Social
Health Activists (ASHA),and the Janani Surakshay Yojana (motherhood protection program).
It also aims at improving hygiene and sanitation infrastructure. Noted economists
Ajay Mahal and Bibek Debroy have called it "the most ambitious rural health initiative
The mission has a special focus on 18 states Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh,
Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Madhya
Pradesh, Nagaland, Orissa, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
Under the mission, health funding had increased from 27,700 crores in 2004-05 to
39,000 crores in 2005-06 (from 0.95% of GDP to 1.05%). As of 2009, economists
noted that "the mid-term appraisal of the NRHM has found that there has been a significant
improvement in health indicators even in this short period". However, in many
situations, the state level apparatus have not been able to deploy the additional
funds, often owing to inadequacies in the Panchayati Raj functioning. Fund utilization
in many states is around 70%.