New Delhi: Denying any move to privatise public sector healthcare, the Planning Commission on Friday said it has made a strong case for strengthening it and converting 600 district hospitals into medical colleges over the next decade.
The Commission's Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia also pitched for setting up of a centralised medicine procurement agency for government hospitals in the country.
"There is lot of confusion whether we (the Commission) are privatising the health system. This is actually false. We have categorically said that public sector part of the health system has to be hugely strengthened," he said.
Recently, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, a body of health activists, charged the government with planning to abandon its role of providing healthcare to the people.
" We (the Commission) are at the moment getting views (on Health Chapter in 12th Plan). The chapter will be finalised by the end of this month.
"Health activists and advocates would want that total expenditure of centre and state during the 12th Plan period should go up to 2.5 percent of GDP. But there are resource constraints," Ahluwalia added.
"Our preliminary assessment is that if we are going to do a lot more in clean drinking water and sanitation side....If you add that to curative health, then it (health expenditure) would reach up to the level (2.5 percent of GDP) they are talking about," he further said
"If you talk only about curative health then it may not be possible to reach the 2.5 percent of GDP during the current Plan...There are resource constraints and there are other priorities also, " he added.
First Published: Friday, August 10, 2012, 21:18