New Delhi: Vice President M Hamid Ansari today pitched for more allocations for health sector, saying that a substantial expansion and strengthening of the system is needed if the country is to meet the health needs of rural and urban areas.
Delivering the inaugural address at the Golden Jubilee function of Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital at Maulana Azad Medical College here, Ansari said affordability of health care is a serious problem for the vast majority of the population. “Lack of extensive and adequately funded public health services pushes large numbers of people to incur heavy out of pocket expenditures on services purchased from the private sector,” he said.
Ansari said that there was inadequacy of resource allocation as India currently spends only 1.2 per cent of its GDP on publicly funded health care which is considerably less than most other comparable countries. The Vice President said that despite the gradual progress of recent decades, infant mortality in India is still over 40 per 1,000, while maternal mortality is 2 per 1,000 live births. Healthy life expectancy remains about 55 years, compared with close to 70 years reported in countries such as China, the US and Japan, he said.