New Delhi: India’s expenditure on the health sector has risen from 1.2 per cent of the GDP in 2013-14 to 1.4 per cent in 2017-18, Health Minister J P Nadda said.
He was addressing the concern of members of the Rajya Sabha about the low share of funds spent on healthcare as a percentage of the GDP.
Replying to questions during the Question Hour, Nadda said the funds spent by the government, including that by the states, would further increase when the ‘Ayushman Bharat’ scheme kicks in.
“The National Health Protection Scheme (now Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission) provides for financial protection of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year to 10.74 crore families (or 50 crore population) for secondary and tertiary hospitalisation. The cost is borne by the government (Centre and States),” he said.
The minister said the work for the launch of the scheme was on and even the Indian Medical Association has been brought on board.
He also said it was also envisaged that in the coming years, a comprehensive screening would be carried out for individuals who turn 30. They would be screened for several diseases including diabetes and cancer, as early detection in many cases would not only bring down costs but also help in better cure.
“Government has increased the total public health expenditure (Centre and States) from Rs 1.49 lakh crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2.25 lakh crore in 2017-18,” he said quoting the Economic Survey 2017-18.
“Further, the National Health Policy 2017 envisages raising government health spending to 2.5 per cent of the GDP by 2025 in a time-bound manner. It also envisages increasing state sector health spending to more than 8 per cent of their budget by 2020,” he said in his reply tabled in the House.
During the Question Hour, the members asked Power Minister R K Singh if the government was aware of issues that could crop up in the integration of renewable power with the rest of the grid.
Singh said that two ‘green corridors’ one for intrastate and another for inter-state transfer of power were under implementation.
He also said the government was working on a scheme under which farmers would be able to utilise their fallow land for setting up of solar plants. This power can then be sold, enabling farmers to earn more, Singh said.
The minister said the government had set up an ambitious target of generation of 175000 MW of renewable energy by 2020 and expressed confidence that the target would be achieved.