PM agrees on need for greater investment in health sector
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Last Updated: Tuesday, January 11, 2011, 18:23
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has emphasised on greater investment in the health care sector and called a meeting of officials to discuss recommendations of the Planning Commission panel on health before finalisation of the 12th five-year plan.

"The Prime Minister has expressed great interest in our work. He agrees that greater investment in health (sector) is required," Dr K Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India and a member of the panel told reporters at the launch of the India series of 'Lancet' here.

A delegation comprising members of the Planning Commission panel on health as well as Dr Richard Horton, editor of the 'Lancet', met the PM yesterday during which they apprised him about the current India special edition of the international health magazine.

Singh told the delegation that there needs to be a wider discussion on the subject with officials from the Ministry of Health as well as other ministries.

He directed his office to convene a meeting after the panel submits an interim report by the end of January, Reddy said.

Horton, who was part of the delegation, said that in India, there is very little incentive to act on health. It is always in the second and third priority list, he added.

"Majorly there are two obstacles. One is the lack of political will and the second is the lack of public demand for a change," he said.

Reddy said the panel would submit its interim recommendations by January end before the formulation of the 12th five-year plan, while the final report would be out in June.

The panel was formed in mid-October with a time period of eight months.

The new Lancet series, which has been launched as an annual edition, has articles specific to improving the public health system in India.


First Published: Tuesday, January 11, 2011, 18:23

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