PM calls for structural health reforms

More funds for health care in 11th Plan

 
Addressing the 44th convocation ceremony at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PIGMER),  he said the Centre had accorded top priority to the health sector by allotting more funds, three times more than what was given in the previous plan, in the 11th Plan.

Singh regretted that despite improvement in health determinants over the past decade, the spending in the public sector health care had remained at only one per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.

“It has been our goal to raise it to 2 to 3 per cent. Our progress has been much less than what we would have liked to achieve. It also does not compare well with what a number of other countries, particularly in South East Asia, have achieved,” the prime minister said.

Speaking about the lacunae in the National Rural Health Mission which aims at improve public health system in the rural areas of the country,  Singh said there was acute shortage of human resources at various levels, including doctors, paramedics, nurses and specialists. “This is one of the biggest impediments to strengthening of the public health delivery system and scaling up access to health care,” he said . The Centre was seized of the problem and had taken several measures to address the deficiency.

He said more nursing and medical schools were being established in lesser developed states, student-teacher ratio was being enhanced for specialities and super specialists and a new scheme for upgrading medical colleges in the states was being launched so as to increase the number of post-graduate medical seats all over the country. Earlier, the prime minister inaugurated an advanced cardiac centre at the institute.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said a vaccine for the swine flue would be ready by March-April 2010. Azad said a separate department has been created in the health ministry for health research.

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