Budget Expectations: More allocation required for healthcare sector
Dr Marathe further stated that India needs to increase its allocation similar to that in developed countries and the allocation for healthcare in the country needs to reach to 3 per cent to 4 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).Updated: Jan 30, 2018 22:02 IST
City-based doctors have stressed on the need for more allocation for the health sector with a focus on improving the primary healthcare sector.
When contacted Dr Prakash Marathe, president, Indian Medical Association, Pune, said, “We definitely need more investment for strengthening the public healthcare system in the country. Hospitals associated with government medical colleges, government healthcare centres at rural and district levels, among others lack infrastructure due to paucity of funds. The staff strength at many of the district-run hospitals is insufficient. Considering this, the fund allocation at these places should be increased and quality health services should be provided at all government-run hospitals and health centres.”
Dr Marathe further stated that India needs to increase its allocation similar to that in developed countries and the allocation for healthcare in the country needs to reach to 3 per cent to 4 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
Dr Anant Phadke who is associated with The Poona Citizen Doctor Forum (PCDF), a group working to rebuild trust among citizens and doctors, and promote ethical rational medical practice, said, “Presently, the government allocates 1.3 per cent of GDP for the health sector in the country which is inadequate. The National Health Policy states that the allocation for healthcare sector should be 2.5 per cent of the GDP. To achieve this, the government needs to increase the allocation by 40 per cent every year with emphasis on improving the primary health services.”
Sharing her views, Dr Shona Nag, head of medical oncology, Jehangir Hospital, said, “Cancer drugs and equipment should be considered life saving and get tax exemption. All below poverty line (BPL) cancer patients must be given ₹5 lakh each for cancer treatment. Kerala has taken the lead and offers ₹8 lakh to every such patient. All corporate hospitals should sell cancer drugs at discounted rates and this will benefit more people to come ahead for treatment and make it affordable.”