Home » HEALTH » President Pranab Mukherjee Pitches for More Healthcare Budget
President Pranab Mukherjee releasing the book at the inauguration of the National Intervention Council (NIC - 2015) meeting of the Cardiological Society of India, in New Delhi on April 4, 2015.(PIB Photo)

President Pranab Mukherjee Pitches for More Healthcare Budget

President Pranab Mukherjee addressing at the inauguration of the National Intervention Council (NIC - 2015) meeting of the Cardiological Society of India, in New Delhi on April 4, 2015.(PIB Photo)

President Pranab Mukherjee addressing at the inauguration of the National Intervention Council (NIC – 2015) meeting of the Cardiological Society of India, in New Delhi on April 4, 2015.(PIB Photo)

India’s President Pranab Mukherjee called for more budget for a healthcare system, which is universally accessible, affordable and effective, as it is “crucial for a developing country like India.”

Inaugurating the Mid-Term Meet 2015 of the National Interventional Council of the Cardiological Society of India on Saturday in New Delhi, the President, who was also finance minister in several Congress governments from the days of Indira Gandhi, was vocal about the country’s healthcare needs.

President Mukherjee said, “We require robust healthcare infrastructure, trained and motivated personnel, and better access to medicines and equipments,” summing up the huge demand before the nation’s health sector.

India has 7 hospital beds per 10,000 population, compared to 23 in Brazil, 38 in China and 97 in Russia. “In terms of healthcare professionals, we again lag behind the other BRIC countries,” pointed out the President.

There are 7 physicians per 10,000 population in India, compared to 19 in Brazil, 15 in China and 43 in Russia. Though schemes like the National Health Mission have improved service delivery, health services in India still suffer from lack of reach and constraints of quality, he noted.

The President said India’s public expenditure on health is meagre. India’s per capita government expenditure on health in PPP terms is US $44, as against $809 in Russia, $474 in Brazil and $236 in China. “Considering that we are a sixth of humanity, a significant rise in health expenditure is urgently required to ensure universal health coverage,” said the President.

Focusing on health insurance mechanism, he noted that 216 million people in India or 17 percent of the population were covered under various health insurance schemes as of March 2014, leaving much bigger coverage desired.

“Good health and fitness of the people will truly be a reflection of our country’s progress,” he said.

One comment

  1. Saumen Sengupta

    Sorry, Mr. President! You had been way too kind. We still don’t have a healthcare program in India. Government after government had been on adrenal surge to spend more on defense spending than on people for which defense as a policy might even be an issue. No body ever asked how could the country even sport a defense policy if its people are already malnourished, sick and without any healthcare. If they are already dying unnecessarily, what does it mean to be an emerging power? Power for whom, for what? This is an enigma that must be resolved not by talks but by action.

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