Delegates at the Express Healthcare Sabha called for investing more in healthcare to match India’s economic growth, and to ensure that all citizens are covered under social health insurance, so that the healthcare system becomes more efficient and fast.
Emphasizing on the need for increasing investment in healthcare in India, World Health Organisation’s (WHO) India representative Dr Henk Bekedam lamented that life expectancy in the country is only 66 years.
“Even in Bangladesh it is 71 and in China even in 1970s it was 68. In India it is low at 66 years, which is not very old. The reason is low investment in health. India’s investment is just over one per cent of GDP. In China, it has risen to 3.5 per cent while Brazil, a Bricks country, invests 5 per cent of its GDP in health. If you don’t invest in health, there will be consequences. People are dying prematurely which is not only a big loss to the family but also to society as at the age of 45 or 48 he is at his best age to contribute at work,” Dr Bekedam said.
‘’In fact, if a certain per cent of population is coming out of poverty due to economic growth, at least 5-6 per cent is falling into poverty after paying hefty healthcare bills. The good news in the recent Budget is the Rs 1 lakh health insurance scheme. The less good news is there is no increase in allocation national health mission,” he said.
Earlier, Telangana finance secretary and information and public relations commissioner Navin Mittal inaugurated the 2-day conference. He outlined Telangana government’s efforts to provide top quality healthcare by constructing four new hospitals in Hyderabad. ‘’These government hospitals will
provide healthcare facilities that will match private hospitals,” Mittal said.
The Healthcare Sabha 2016 — The National Thought Leadership Forum on Public Healthcare, is being organised by The Indian Express Group in keeping with the objectives of National Health Mission pertaining to ‘Universal Access to Equitable, Affordable and Quality Healthcare Services’.