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India to nearly double expenditure on health

New Delhi: In a major boost to the healthcare sector, total government expenditure on health would be increased to 2.5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2017, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said on Wednesday.

The decision was taken in a meeting held in the PMO on the government’s priorities in health sector, particularly over the next five years.

“The meeting decided that we must work towards increasing the total government health expenditure to 2.5 per cent of GDP by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) from current 1.4 per cent. The Planning Commission was requested to allocate adequate resources to achieve the target,” said an official statement.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has emphasised the need for increased outlay on health sector during Twelfth Plan so that adequate funds are made available for the sector, the statement further said.

“There is a need to create adequate capacity at the centre and the states to meaningfully absorb the increased outlay,” the statement said, quoting Manmohan Singh.

The health ministry is working towards the goal of universal health care for all.

It was decided in the meeting that the ministry would also work towards strengthening public health through the creation of necessary human resource capacities at all levels.

The meeting specifically focused on implementation of recommendations of the National Commission for Macroeconomics and Health (NCMH) and the High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Health set up by the Planning Commission. [Source: IANS]

4 Comments

  1. Prof. Manoj Sharma Prof. Manoj Sharma Saturday, March 3, 2012

    Needs a very careful thought and right kind of advisers to the Health Ministry.
    We need to learn lesson from population based studies too.
    Indeed there should not be any worry about the funds. To support cancer care alone the funds can come through heavy tobacco taxation…. whether biri made in West Bengal in Pranab Baboos constituency or Gutka and paan masalas made in Patparganj or Kanpur. The revenue will be huge because we do see youngsters in our OPDs with the onslaught of these products. Young India is thoroughly addicted hence it will pay taxes too… through its nose.

    The second alternative is total ban on tobacco production. Many countries have done so. The revenue earned and the employment created is one third of the revenue spend on health care of tobacco generated diseases and man hours lost due to tobacco related deaths….. much more mouths go hungry due to the tobacco related death of the bread winner than the probably hunger that unemployment will generate due to tobacco ban .At least there is life and hope to start a new employment under Manrega!! India will become oil rich if the fields are used for sugarcane cultivation for gasohol purposes.

    The money thus saved will help support expenditure on health care.

    Another area is of austerity, H E Vice President of India has tightly said same thing about Universities in his recent irreverence.
    At one end we see crores being spend on landscaping in hospitals and medical colleges , renovation of medical superintendent and Principal’s offices while patients are lost as the bare essential emergency medicines, blood , fluids and emergency investigative facilities are not available in the hospitals. Lit up lights and switched on fans in the offices corridors and places where there is no activity too can save lot of money.
    Need to go back to austerity.

  2. Kishore Kumar Kishore Kumar Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Last year more than Rs. 63,000 crores invested by NRHM and nothing changed. If the Govt. had invested it on the Private sector, say, at least 10% of that, things would have been much better. The RSBY insurance of the Govt. is another thing. In Kerala majority of the empanelled hospitals are in the Public sector and the charges are the same for Private & Public Hospitals. Sad to note that we have more idiots in the public sector deciding things. Govt. is to provide the service free and when they fail the people can go to the private sector with the RSBY cards. The wayward bureaucracy will not permit that.

  3. Dr.A.Laxmaiah Dr.A.Laxmaiah Thursday, March 1, 2012

    it is nice to have double budget, but we should be able to spend that money in a proper way.

  4. Dr A. Nandakumar Dr A. Nandakumar Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Yes, we should increase our expenditure towards health – there is hardly any doubt on that. But what is definitely not clear is where the money should go. Unless the money goes to places where systems are in place to absorb the money judiciously and deliver what was expected to be delivered the money will go down the drain as we are seeing in the UP health scam. So the question is “Do we really have a system in place or should we create such systems”. Then money should first go for creation of such systems. To successfully create such systems a champion person should be identified and he or she should be made responsible for a period of 10-20 years without transfer. That person should be answerable to an expert committee and the public and should get both the credit and the blame.

    Dr A. Nandakumar, MD, MPH

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