Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Thursday urged the health ministers from states and union territories to increase healthcare spending to a minimum 8 per cent in their state budget so as to meet the goals of healthcare spending of National Health Policy 2017- 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025.
He was inaugurating the 13th Conference of the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare (CCHFW), in the presence of Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey along with senior officials. The health minister also launched a new initiative -‘Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN)’ for Zero Preventable Maternal and Newborn Deaths, its website and the grievance redressal portal.
“From the first CCHFW meeting till today, we together have achieved several health milestones, especially India being certified Polio-free. This has been possible because of our collaborative efforts. If all Health Ministers come together for a cause, no task can be impossible,” Vardhan said at the event.
He further said that the purpose of the CCHFW meeting is to build a consensus on the national health priorities i.e. Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through Ayushman Bharat, eliminating Tuberculosis (TB) and other priority agenda such as strengthen medical infrastructure. This can be achieved by a collective increase in healthcare spending by the States/UTs to meet the goals of healthcare spending of National Health Policy 2017- 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025.
“This is the first time that a government is so committed to healthcare and health care is on the top agenda.”
He stressed upon four pillars of healthcare, which included universal health coverage; mission mode interventions; quality and accessible affordable healthcare services; and also adequate infrastructure.
Vardhan further stated, “Health needs to become a social movement in every State & UT and the Eat Right and Fit India movements need to be taken up by States and UTs in a synergized manner, to ensure a healthy and robust India”.
The Minister also urged the Health Minister of Uttar Pradesh, who is also the Finance Minister of the State, to increase the health budget of the State and set an example for the rest to emulate.