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
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
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.