Need to increase spending in health sector: President

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Pranab Mukherjee
Mysore, Sept 23: Observing that the country's public expenditure on health is only 1.2 per cent of GDP, President Pranab Mukherjee today said that there is a need to increase spending in the key sector to provide better health and nutritional security to the people.

"Public expenditure on health in India is 1.2 per cent of GDP. This is much lower than the 4 per cent plus levels in countries like US, UK, Australia, Norway and Brazil," Mukherjee said, after inaugurating the new hospital building of Jagadguru Sri Shiva-rathreeshwara (JSS) Maha-vidya-peetha here.

"There is a need to increase our spending in the health sector. ...If we want our nation to progress; to be counted as one of the advanced countries in the world, we have to build our soft power," the President said.

Public expenditure on health in India is 1.2 per cent of GDP.

Emphasising the need for investing adequately in the country's population, he said, "We have to enhance people's capabilities ensuring health and nutritional security, providing quality education and ensuring a decent standard of life." "The right question is to ask whether India can afford not to invest in ensuring these basic constituents of living. The answer is no if we want peace, stability and prosperity," he said.

The President said as public resources have several pressing uses, private healthcare providers have to be encouraged and suitably engaged to provide quality healthcare services.

PTI

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