There is need for medical innovations to find out affordable cures to India’s health problems, said President Pranab Mukherjee addressing the 8th convocation of the King George’s Medical University here on Friday.
He was accompanied by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and governor BL Joshi on the stage besides other dignitaries.
He said that there was need to devise effective solutions to health problems and this would need innovation in preventive approaches, treatment and rehabilitation.
Mukherjee talked about the brighter side of the medical sector and said expect better and cheaper health services soon as the centre was planning to overhaul the government healthcare sector. The idea is to make better government health services accessible to rural folks and make them depend less on costlier private care, he said and added India’s public health expenditure was likely to go up to 2.5% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) at the end of 12th fiveyear plan against 1.4% of the 11th plan.
Mukherjee said, “The 11th plan had noted that though the total expenditure on health in India was 5% of the GDP, there was disproportionately high reliance on private, particularly household’s out of pocket expenditure on health.”
The president further said, “As per data available public health expenditure is likely to have reached 1.4% of the GDP by the end of 11th plan period. We now aim at rising the public health expenditure to 2.5% of GDP by the end of 12th plan period.”
It was his first visit to the medical university as the President.
He also talked about the shortage of human resources in the health sector and quoted figures to corroborate his point.
“The new challenges of the country’s health sector are opportunities for the institute to further contribute towards nation building. Excellence of this institute should not be confined to Lucknow but touch the hearts of millions all over the state who are struggling for equitable access to quality healthcare,” the president said.
The president gave away 24 medals to the meritorious medical and dental students and honoris causa (D.Sc) to Prem Puri and Surendra K Varma during convocation.