12th Five Year Plan to focus on health: PM

"I have often referred to the 11th Five Year Plan as an education plan.  We will lay the same emphasis on health in the 12th plan as we laid on education in the 11th plan. I will propose to the National Development Council that the 12th plan should be specially focused on health," the prime minister said in his Independence Day speech.

He promised that funds will not be a constraint in the important areas of education and health.

Emphasising on increasing the ambit of health insurance to workers in the unorganised sector, Manmohan Singh said: "For a long time our country had no facility for health insurance for workers in the unorganised sector.  In 2008, we began the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana for workers in the unorganised sector who are below the poverty line.

"In the last year we have covered those getting employment under Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Act and also domestic workers, street vendors and beedi workers under this scheme.

"Today, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana covers about 2 crore 50 lakh workers. Our government will endeavour to cover as many unorganised sector workers as possible under this scheme," Manmohan Singh said.

He also expressed concern over malnutrition among women and children in the country.
"We have taken a number of steps to tackle this problem, including two new schemes.  We have also decided that we will start implementing an improved Integrated Child Development Services Scheme within the next six months so that the problem of malnutrition in children can be effectively addressed," he added.

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