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3% of GDP to be spent on health: Montek Singh Ahluwalia

New Delhi: The government’s expenditure on healthcare will be increased to 2-3 per cent of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-13 to 2116-17) from nearly 1 per cent in the current plan period, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said on Friday.

Addressing a conference organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here, Montek Singh Ahluwalia said the Planning Commission would ensure that fund allocation to health sector increased significantly to ensure good healthcare services to the common people.

Montek Singh Ahluwalia said Srinath Reddy report on universal health insurance is expected to be submitted to the government by the end of this month.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appointed a committee headed by Dr K Srinath Reddy to suggest measures to ensure health insurance to every citizen in the country.

Under the proposed universal health insurance scheme, the premium may be linked to income levels of the beneficiaries, although the government may pay the entire premium for those below the poverty line. The scheme may encompass treatment at listed hospitals, apart from hospitalisation expenses.

Montek Singh Ahluwalia said an alarming finding of the Census 2011 was the acute shortage of medical personnel. Even worse, the qualifications of almost 50 per cent of “doctors” recorded in the Census documents show they do not have a qualification beyond the secondary level.

Ahluwalia also called for a public-private-partnership to improve healthcare in the country. [Source: IANS]

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