Health Ministers to deliberate on progress made in health sector

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New Delhi, Nov 12 (UNI) The Ninth Meeting of the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare will be held here tomorrow to monitor the progress made in the healthcare sector and to chalk out corrective measures and future course of action.

Healthcare issues relating to National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Medical Education and Manpower Requirements, Communicable and Non-communicable Disease Control Programmes and AYUSH will be discussed at the Conference.

Besides Health Ministers and senior officials from various States, Chief Ministers are also expected to participate in the deliberations to be chaired by health minister Anbumani Ramadoss.

The Conference would deliberate on progress made in achieving the target of increasig the health spending under the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) of 2004. The NCMP had specifically stated that the government intended to raise public spending on health to at least 2-3 per cent of GDP over the next five years with focus on primary healthcare, introduce a national scheme for health insurance for poor families and step up public investments in programmes to control communicable diseases and also provide leadership to the national AIDS control efforts.

The Tenth Plan witnessed a transition in health care policies and strategies at the primary and secondary and also set in motion a process to develop and promote a regional balance in the availability of tertiary healthcare facilities. Health indicators at the national level have registered a significant improvement over the past decade.

Life expectancy has increased from 59.7 in 1991 to 63.7 years for males and from 60.9 to 66.9 years for females during the same period. Crude birth and death rates have also registered a decline during this period and available data for IMR, MMR and TFR has shown a positive trend.

The main plank for achieving accessible and affordable rural healthcare at the primary and secondary levels is through National Rural Health Mission launched in April 2005. Focused strategy on other communicable and non-communicable diseases and tertiary healthcare will be complementary to the strengthening of the healthcare delivery system under the Mission which intends to reduce the infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate and total fertility rate.

UNI

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