Govt to raise healthcare expenditure to 2.5 percent of GDP, Congress demands double the percentage
New Delhi: The Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has given his written reply in the Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour that government's expenditure on health services has increased continuously over the years and the target is to raise it to 2.5 percent of the country's GDP by 2025.In reply to a query during Question Hour, he said the experience of last 10 years shows that with every...
In reply to a query during Question Hour, he said the experience of last 10 years shows that with every passing year, the public expenditure on health services is "continuously increasing".
The minister informed that the National Health Policy 2017 envisages increasing the public health expenditure to 2.5 percent of the GDP by 2025.
The policy recommends that State governments should spend more than 8 percent of their budget on the health sector by 2020.
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Replying to supplementaries, the minister said the government proposes to set up 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres by 2022 under the Aayushman Bharat programme. Of this 18,000-19,000 have already been established, he said.
These centres will boost healthcare facilities in the rural as well as Urban areas.
In a written reply, Vardhan said the government announced 4 percent health and education cess in place of 3 percent education cess on personal income tax and corporation tax to cater to the education and health needs of poor and rural families.
In addition, he said the Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) has started supporting the infrastructure works of medical institutions.
Congress demands double the healthcare expenditure in the Budget
The Congress had claimed that India's healthcare deficit is "glaring" and said it expects the government to double the healthcare expenditure in the budget.
Citing a media report, Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said there is a shortfall of 82 percent in specialists like surgeons, physicians etc, 40 percent of lab technicians, and 12-16 percent of nurses at primary healthcare level.
"Our healthcare deficit is glaring!" Surjewala said.
"To overcome this, We expect GOI to double healthcare expenditure in the budget," he said.
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