States needs to chip in to improve healthcare, says Montek

States needs to chip in to improve healthcare, says Montek New Delhi: Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia Friday said the states need to match central government's expenditure on healthcare planned in the 12th Plan period (2012-17) to improve the sector.

"The relative size of what the central government does and what states have to do, central government's contribution (expenditure) has to be quite small," Ahluwalia said while addressing at an awards function.

"Health is a state subject and one thing exclusively responsibility of the Centre is medical education," he said further.

"In the 12th Plan, we will be spending more money (on health). Probably, the Centre will certainly be doing that but the impact on overall health industry really depends on whether state governments match that (expenditure)," he said.

Ahluwalia also stressed on the need for increasing supply of healthcare professionals, particularly nurses and other paramedical staff.

Talking about the issue of poor access to health services in the country, he said that the National Rural Health Mission is being converted into National Health Mission to cover urban areas also.

There are a lot of great successes in the pharmaceutical sector but there are a lot of regulatory issues as well, he added.

"It is true that as a country, we have not paid as much attention, we should have paid to health," he said.