Parliamentary Panel Asserts For More Investments In Public Health Services

Asserting that the past and present health budget allocation clearly defies the envisioned health finance objective in National Health Policy, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare in Rajya Sabha have observed that the Government needs to make consistent efforts to increase its investments on public health services

The Parliamentary panel recommended the department to focus on Non-Communicable disease and Mental Health.

The panel-headed by Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav presented its report on March 3 has also raised concerns over the vacancy status at various regional AIIMS.

In order to achieve the objectives of health schemes and also facilitate the achievement of targets of expenditure upto 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025, the Committee recommended the Department should approach the Ministry of Finance to provide enhanced allocations for NHM and Health Sector.

The panel also recommended for improvement in database of the targeted beneficiaries under Ayushman Bharat

The Committee noted that the Department of Health and Family Welfare has been allocated Rs 65011.80 crore against the projected demand of Rs. 117191.82 crore for the year 2020-21 that amounts to only 55.47 per cent of the projected demand.

The Health sector alone has been allocated Rs. 25172.80 crore as against the projected demand of Rs. 32033.20 crore.

The Committee recommended that there is a dire need to broaden the fiscal space for the Department of Health and Family Welfare by increasing the budgetary allocation to health.

The Committee expressed its dismay at the drastic reduction in budgetary allocation as against the projected demand for the Umbrella NHM sector which consists of such important Schemes as NRHM, NUHM, PMJAY etc.

The Department has projected a demand of Rs.64,011.50 crore for NRHM & NUHM in the F.Y. 2020-21, against which an allocation to the tune of Rs. 27989 crore has been made in the Budget.

The Committee recommended the Department to take note of the ground realities and address the issues related to beneficiary identification system, empanelment of healthcare providers, hospital transaction system etc.

Noting the shortfall in allocation, the Committee observed that the Department may face difficulty in upscaling of the vital health schemes viz Ayushman Bharat–Health & Wellness Centres, Strengthening free drugs, free diagnostics, improvements in Healthcare Delivery System, development of Health Infrastructure as per patient care norm, Poshan Abhiyan, HBYC, SUMAN, LaQshya etc.

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