New Delhi: Voicing concern over inadequate healthcare facilities across the country, President Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday suggested that such services should be taken closer to homes of families and said government planned a substantial increase in health budget over the next ten years.
Inaugurating a healthcare conference here, he said as per World Health Organisation data only 35 per cent people have access to essential medicines and healthcare facilities.
"Public health system must be greatly expanded and strengthened across the nation. We need to take health services closer to the homes of the families," he said at the 10th Knowledge Millennium Summit on `Curing the Incurables - Sharing of Innovations` organised by ASSOCHAM.
He said government has planned a substantial increase in healthcare expenditure from 1.2 per cent of the GDP during the 11th Plan to 2.5 per cent GDP by 2017.
"By the end of the 13th Plan government plans to spend three per cent of the GDP on health care," he said.
Mukherjee stressed on out-of-the-box managerial and administrative reforms in the health departments at the state and central levels.
"We need to develop effective models of healthcare for the ever-increasing urban population and at the same time not ignore rural healthcare needs. The foundation of India`s national health system must be strong, sensitive and efficient," he said.
Mukherjee said new technologies like Information and Communications Technology (ICT) can take a major role in improving health care delivery.
"One solution is telemedicine -- the remote diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of patients via videoconferencing or the internet," he said.