Balasore MP urges Centre to increase public health expenditure

Bhubaneswar, Feb 1: Giving an
input to the formation of Union Budget 2017-18, Balasore MP RK Jena written to
the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda urging him to
increase the share of expenditure on public health in the Budget.
“I urge you to
strategically increase the public health expenditure to the tune of 3 % of
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and evolve an effective plan to expand the total
health expenditure to at least 6.5% of the GDP by 2018,” the MP wrote.
Making a strong
argument, Jena stated that the Government has failed to achieve the targets of
its National Health Policy formed in 2002. Out of 13 targets of the policy many
remained unachieved including eliminate Kala Azar by 2010, achieve zero level
growth of HIV/AIDS by 2007, reduce prevalence of blindness to 0.5% by 2010,
elimination Lymphatic Filariasis by 2015, reduce IMR to 30 per 1000 and MMR to
The letter stressed on
boosting the Indian medical infrastructure by citing inter-state comparison
with developed states like the USA.  
In response to Jena’s
letter, the Minister appraised that the government has taken various steps to
supplement the efforts of states in providing accessible, affordable and
quality healthcare. The total health expenditure as a percent of DGP has shown
an increase from 0.97 % in 2014-15 to 1.16 % in 2015-16. It has also formulated
the Draft National Health Policy, which envisages raising the public health
expenditure progressively to 2.5% of the GDP in a time bound manner.

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