Gandhinagar, Jan 7: Union Health Minister JP Nadda today said the health sector in the country faces the challenges of unfinished task of controlling communicable, non-communicable and lifestyle diseases.
"We have made a definite progress in the health sector, but many things are still required to be done," Nadda said while addressing the 43rd Annual Conference of Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicines.
"Given the size of our population, health being a state subject and literacy level in our country, we have made significant progress in the health sector," the minister said.
"We have done well under the National Health Mission, we have partially overcome the challenge of communicable diseases, but we still face three challenges, that are unfinished task of controlling communicable diseases, the challenge of non-communicable diseases and lifestyle diseases," he said.
Stressing on preventive health care, he said prevention is better then cure. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Swachh Bharat' programme is aimed at making India healthy.
On the issue of budget allocated to the health sector, the minister said the budget is not a constraint, but many states have not been able to utilise the funds allotted to them.
"Budget is not a constraint, but more than money for health, I am concerned for health of money. Parts of health budget given to some states remain unspent. Or if we want to give money to rural health centre, medical officers are not present there to utilise it," Nadda said.
World Health Organisation's India representative Hank Bakedam said though India has done well in checking the communicable diseases, much needs to be done to achieve universal health care goals.
"The task of the health minister is very difficult if the top leadership is not committed to giving funds. The government should understand that investing in health is investing in economy," he said.
Gujarat Health Minister Nitin Patel, who was also present at the function, listed achievements of the state government during his speech.
He said Gujarat has achieved almost 100 per cent institutional deliveries due to which Infant Mortality Rate and Maternal Mortality Rate have reduced.