Determined to increase India’s health spending to 2.5% of GDP, says govt

While speaking recently at an event held in Delhi, the union home minister, Rajnath Singh has stated that providing universal healthcare will not be possible without the participation of the private sector

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New Delhi: The Union Home Minister, Mr Rajnath Singh has said the Government is promoting the emergence of India as a medical destination to the world. Addressing the 127th Founder’s Day Celebrations of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on 13th April,  he said that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has taken several steps towards boosting medical tourism such as extending e-Visa to 161 countries. Besides, the MHA has extended the duration of stay on e-Visa from 30 to 60 days and also allowed triple entry in e-Medical Visa cases.

Speaking about the Health Sector, Mr Rajnath Singh said in a country of 125 crore people, providing ‘Healthcare to All’ is a huge challenge. We have very skewed doctor-patient ratio. If we see health sector spending, it constitutes just 1.16 percent of the GDP. But we are determined to increase it significantly, at least to 2.5 percent.

Mr Rajnath Singh said given the huge income disparity in India, the Prime Minister Narenda Modi introduced the Ayushman Bharat scheme to provide the best healthcare for the poor and needy. He said Ayushman Bharat is the National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries), providing medical insurance cover up to Rupees 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.

The Union Home Minister said providing universal healthcare will not be possible without the participation of the private sector. “You will agree that whereas people should get affordable healthcare they should also get universal health cover. To ensure Care and Cover both, we need huge investment in health sector. This can happen only with active contribution of private sector,” said Mr Rajnath Singh. “We see private sector in health sector as our strategic partner,” he added.

Mr Rajnath Singh said the basic rule for good health is hygiene and the Swachh Bharat Mission has been launched by the Prime Minister as the first step towards achieving the goal of universal healthcare.