Ministry of Health of India publishes drafts of the first National Standard Treatment Guidelines online for public consultation

By Laura Downey Feb. 18, 2016

As part of a programme of work outline in the MoU signed between NICE international and the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), NICE international have been providing technical support to the National Health Systems Resource centre (NHSRC) to develop standard treatment guidelines (STG’s) in 10 key clinical areas, including non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health, and respiratory disease. Development of these STG’s has been carried out according to a novel adaptation methodology, whereby existing high quality internationally-recognized guidelines are analysed by a team of individuals and adapted in order to suit the Indian context to provide a basis for high-quality evidence-based clinical practice in India.

After over 12 months of development, the first drafts of two of these guidelines are complete. The draft STG’s on Diabetic foot and Snake Bite were submitted to the National Director General of Health Services (DGHS) and have undergone expert peer review.  These documents are now available for public consultation on the official website of the  National Health Mission. Links to the draft guidelines can also be accessed through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website.

This  marks the beginning of a new foundation for evidence-based clinical practice in India, and is the first instance of adapting robust evidence-based guidelines to the Indian context based on inclusive and transparent processes. The clinical groups and the NHSRC have also  produced  patient information leaflets and Quality Standards as implementation tools to complement the STG’s. The next frontier of this project will be the pilot implementation of the Quality Standards for hypertension (soon to be submitted to the DGHS) and diabetic foot. This is presently being planned with involvement from both central and  state government officials.