Centre to make free medicines available for all under NRHM | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Centre to make free medicines available for all under NRHM

The UPA government is planning to make free medicines available for all through public health facilities under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), the PMO said after a key meeting on Wednesday that decided to significantly raise expenditure on health over the next five years.

delhi Updated: Feb 29, 2012 23:15 IST
HT Correspondent

The UPA government is planning to make free medicines available for all through public health facilities under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), the PMO said after a key meeting on Wednesday that decided to significantly raise expenditure on health over the next five years.

A PMO statement said it was decided at the meeting that one of the key focus areas of the health ministry would be strengthening facilities at the primary health centres, community health centres and district hospitals to provide a basic package of care to all.

This would be done through provision of cashless, hassle-free outpatient, inpatient and diagnostic care and supply of essential medicines. Ambulance services will be strengthened to provide access to health services to far-off areas.

The meeting, convened on the instructions of the Prime Minister, decided to work towards raising expenditure on health from the existing 1.4% of Gross Domestic Product to 2.5% within the next five years.

The Planning Commission has been asked to allocate adequate resources for the health sector to achieve the target but it was also recognised that a significant chunk of the funds would have to come from the states.

"Accordingly, the Planning Commission may motivate and incentivise the states to allocate more funds for the health sector," a PMO statement on the decisions taken at the meeting said.

With the government aspiring to achieve the goal of universal health care, the statement also called for a clear roadmap to bring all the rural health mission schemes under one umbrella.