Health bills pushing 6 crore every year into poverty: NITI Aayog

Over 60 per cent of the expenditure on healthcare in India is met by the people out of their own pockets.

Published: 14th November 2017 02:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th November 2017 08:08 AM   |  A+A-

Vinod Paul, member, NITI Aayog, awarding certificates to graduates at the 26th convocation of Sri Ramachandra University on Monday | Martin Louis

By Express News Service

CHENNAI : Over 60 per cent of the expenditure on healthcare in India is met by the people out of their own pockets. Over six crore people in the country are pushed to poverty each year due to expenses towards medical treatment, said Vinod K Paul, member, NITI Aayog.Paul was delivering was convocation address at Sri Ramachandra University on Monday. “Countries with good health system make public spending on health, at least to the tune of 5 per cent of their GDP. But, the government spending on healthcare continues to be low at about 1.2 per cent of GDP, which is important reason for insufficie progress.

The Central and the State governments should raise their health budgets to meet the national policy target of 2.5 per cent of the GDP by 2025 from the current level of 1.2 per cent,” said Paul.
Paul also said that the National Health Policy 2017 envisaged a network of 1,50,000 health and wellness centres to provide comprehensive primary health across the country. Two-thirds of it will be for primary care so that secondary care, which is expensive, distant and unaffordable can be avoided. 

He further said while India achieved greatness in several fields at the global level, it was yet to realise potential in medical sciences. Paul presented 83 gold medals to meritorious students at the 26th convocation of the SRU. Chancellor VR Venkataachalam gave away degree certificates to over 770 graduates. RV Sengutuvan, Pro-Chancellor, Dr S P Thyagarajan, Dean, Research, Mahesh Vakamudi, dean of faculties and other officials also participated.

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