In its health manifesto, the Indian Medical Association has demanded that the spend on health should be increased to 5% of GDP from the current 1.2%
The manifesto contains various suggestions to improve public health, change policy directions, streamline medical education and improve medical research. “There is insufficient funding in the healthcare sector and the GDP in healthcare is at a dismal rate of 1.2 pc. The out of pocket expenditure is one of the highest for our country and every year over 3.3 per cent of people are pushed below poverty line due to expenditure on health,” said Dr Santanu Sen, the national president of IMA and Rajya Sabha MP from the Trinamool Congress.
The primary and preventive care should be given top priority. Wellness centres have to be reconceived and they have to be manned by MBBS graduates
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has already declared that the party, if voted to power, will make right to health an actionable right – something that the draft National Health Policy 2017 set out to do but the final version of the policy stoped short of. Lack of public funding for health has always been a prickly issue for India. With a new flagship health programme – Ayushman Bharat – in the final stages of planning in 2017, the funding for the National Health Mission the UPA health flagship was years, was slashed.