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Health Minister Patel pitches for increase in health budget

She said that compared to other countries in the South Asia region, except for Pakistan, India spends less percentage of its GDP on public health.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
July 25, 2016 10:17:58 pm
Health minister, Anupriya Patel, Health budget increase, public health, international workshop on HTA, health ministry, India news Union Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel. (File Photo)

Union minister Anupriya Patel on Monday stressed on the need for an increase in health budget in order to reduce out-of-pocket spending.

The Minister of State for Health said such spending currently is at 84 per cent of the total health expenditure and most of it goes for buying medicines.

Speaking at the inauguration of international workshop on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) she said, “This is a serious concern for the government and it is committed towards HTA that will address this.”

She said India compares poorly with other developing countries like Sri Lanka, which spends more public fund on health.

“In terms of budget allocation we are way behind. We have a long way to go,” Patel said.

According to a research collaboration between Institute for Studies in Industrial Development and Public Health Foundation titled “Changing pattern of public expenditure on Health in India”, all neighbouring countries, except Pakistan, fare much better in terms of public expenditure on health as percentage of GDP.

While India spends 0.9 per cent of its GDP on health, Sri Lanka spends 2, China 1.9, Nepal 1.6, and Bangladesh 1 per cent.

Secretary, Health, BP Singh also made a similar point while talking about technological intervention in health services.

“Integration of IT and health will transform the entire landscape. But this transformation is not without cost. There is a question of affordability,” he said.

Director General for Health Services, Jagdish Prasad said naturopathy and yoga will help eradicate non-communicable diseases.

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“In collaboration with AYUSH ministry, we have introduced a pilot project in six districts to offer treatment for non-communicable diseases through naturopathy and yoga,” he said.

The three-day workshop is jointly organised by Department of Health Research (DHR), ICMR, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)-UK and Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program (HiTAP)-Thailand

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