President stresses universal healthcare system

Last Updated: Aug 29, 2012, 00:40 AM IST

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday stressed the need to evolve a universal healthcare system for the nation, calling it important for economic growth. He pitched for setting up more healthcare institutions in the country.

"At the national level, the estimated economic loss to India due to deaths caused by all diseases in 2005 was 1.3 percent of the GDP. With the growing number of non-communicable diseases, the loss is apprehended to reach five percent of GDP by 2015 if it is not checked," he said.

Mukherjee was addressing a seminar at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here.

"An assured access to health coverage, that ensures medicine and treatment at affordable prices, is an objective essential for the whole utilisation of human resources capacity," the president said.

He said that both making new institutions and creating more human resource for health were important. He also called upon the private sector for cooperating with the government in building quality health care infrastructure.

FICCI president R.V. Kanoria, welcoming the president, said health care sector should be given the status of infrastructure sector.

The industrial chamber has organised a three-day seminar on universal health care.

IANS