Health sector reforms is highly recommended by Finance Panel

Health sector Finance PanelThe Finance Commission is likely to recommend reforms in the health sector, including increased allocation. A report has been submitted earlier this year by the panel’s expert group, but after the Covid-19 pandemic exposed the country’s health infrastructure and disease management capacity, a final report will be submitted by re-examining the recommendations. Most of the new recommendations will be based on experiences from the pandemic. A meeting of the Finance Commission held on Tuesday discussed the implications of Covid-19 for the health sector. The report about the issues will be reflected in the expert panel’s report. The expert panel’s report will reflect on the issues.

The expert group comprising AIIMS director Randeep Guleria as convenor and Dr. Devi Shetty of the Narayana Health City, Medanta chairman Naresh Trehan, Public Health Foundation President K Shrinath Reddy, Maharashtra University of Health Science vice-chancellor Dileep Mhalsekhar, and Dr. Bhabatosh Biswas of RG Kar Medical College is expected to begin deliberations this week. More members may be co-opted by the panel to ensure a comprehensive set of recommendations related to the pandemic.

In the January report, the group recommended that

  • Public health and hospitals are moved from the state to concurrent list,
  • The right to health be declared a fundamental right by 2021
  • Medical curriculum and MBBS be restructured to make it competency-based
  • Health infrastructure is strengthened with strong regional distribution and robust family medicine programs and specialists at district levels.

The issue of spending on health by the Centre and states is also been examined by the commission. India’s spending on health is about 1.28% of the GDP, far below the optimum. The Centre’s capital spends on health was only 0.25%, pointing to the inadequacy of investment in building health infrastructure.

The commission is also re-examining the issue of spending on health by Centre and states. India’s spending on health is about 1.28% of the GDP, far below the optimum. The Centre’s capital spends on health was only 0.25%, pointing to the inadequacy of investment in building health infrastructure, said by panel’s analysis of the 2020-21 Union budget.

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