Allahabad, Oct 26: VHP leader Pravin Togadia has urged the Centre to raise the country's budget allocation for healthcare and claimed that a "poor country" like Bangladesh was spending more on this vital social sector than India.
"There are nearly 40 crore people in the country whose monthly income is not more than Rs 1,000. For them access to private hospitals and diagnostic centres is obviously out of question.
The number of state-run health care centres is inadequate. The government ought to spend more on health. At present our budgetary allocation for health, percentage wise, is woefully inadequate. A poor country like Bangladesh is spending more on this vital social sector," Togadia said here.
The VHP international working president was addressing a gathering of medical practitioners in the city late last night, where he introduced his initiative 'India Health Line (IHL)' which aims at making quality health care accessible "to the poorest of the poor".
Significantly, the Centre had slashed its budgetary allocation for health in the Union Budget for 2014-15 by more than 10 per cent.
Togadia, who is also a member of Indian Medical Association, said, "I would like that the demand for hiking the budgetary allocation for health should be raised by the IMA."
"We need to rethink our concept of development. Attracting investments would be of no use if the same does not result in creation of adequate number of jobs. And a workforce which does not have access to basic health care will never be able to achieve the levels of productivity that may be expected," Togadia, who arrived in the city on Saturday, said.
Known for his fiery speeches and hard-line stance on issues like cow slaughter, religious conversions and Jihadi terrorism, Togadia refused to comment on any of the contentious issues.
"I want my two-day trip of the ancient city of Prayag to remain centred around IHL. There is an urgent need to spread awareness about the VHP's social welfare initiatives," he said.