This Article is From Jul 10, 2014

More Needs to be Done to Give Quality, Affordable Healthcare: Economic Survey

Stating that a mere 1.4 per cent of GDP is spent on healthcare, the Economic Survey on Wednesday highlighted the need for more vigorous efforts to provide quality and affordable healthcare to the country's population, particularly to the poor and the underprivileged.

"Expenditure on health is just 1.4 per cent of GDP. A lot more needs to be done to provide quality and affordable healthcare for the large Indian population," said the Economic Survey 2013-14, tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday.

The allocations for the health sector have increased over the years, it added.

The central government outlay for the health sector in the 12th Plan has been increased by about 200 per cent to Rs 3,00,018 crore over the actual outlay of Rs 99,491 crore in the 11th Plan, the survey said.

In selected parameters, the progress made in health sector, however, has been impressive, the government document said.

For instance, infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births has come down to 42 in 2012 as compared to 110 in 1981. Likewise, maternal mortality ratio per one lakh live births has come down to 178 in 2010-12 as compared to 301 in 2001-03.

The government has also launched many programmes in the health sector. The national health mission (NHM) was launched in 2013 to enable universal access to equitable, affordable, and quality health care services. The total plan outlay under the NHM for 2013-14 was Rs 18,775.35 crore.

Survey also said two reproductive and child health (RCH) programmes - Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), aim to bring about a change in three critical health indicators- maternal mortality rate, infant mortality rate and total fertility rate.

In order to meet the increased demand for delivery care services, the initiative to introduce 100-bedded maternal and child health (MCH) wings in 158 district hospitals and medical colleges has been taken up, it added.