Statement delivered by H.E. Mr. Jagat Prakash Nadda, Minister of Health and Family Welfare of India at the Commonwealth Health Ministers’ Meeting in Geneva held on 20th May 2018

Statement delivered by H.E. Mr. Jagat Prakash Nadda, Minister of Health and Family Welfare of India at the Commonwealth Health Ministers’ Meeting in Geneva held on 20th May 2018

 Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Globally, both developed as well as developing countries are aspiring to achieve Universal Health Coverage through either a purely tax-funded regime, or risk pooling under social health insurance mechanisms or a mix of both. India has followed a mix of these strategies and so far, revenues from general taxation are the primary source of government funding, since coverage under the social health insurance is low, due to low proportion of organised workforce.

India’ s National Health Policy, 2017 commits to achieving a target of raising public health expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP in a time bound manner by 2025 and the government is committed to providing the resources for achieving Universal Health Coverage.

Accordingly, in line with the commitment in the National Health Policy, India has taken certain tax and other measures to garner additional revenues for health:

  • The existing 3 per cent education cess on personal income tax and corporate tax has been converted to ‘Health and Education Cess’ and increased to 4 per cent to take care the education and health needs of poor and rural families. This will provide an additional revenue of Rs.11, 000 crore (110 billion Rupees) 
  • The Central devolution of funds from tax proceeds to states have been increased from 32% to 42%
  • The Higher Education Funding Agency is newly created to develop high quality infrastructure in premier educational institutions, will now also include health infrastructure.
  • Health has emerged as one of the major recipient of corporate social responsibility (CSR) contributions. Healthcare accounts for a bulk of the CSR spending with 25.2% of CSR funds being allocated to health and sanitation projects.

To tackle the challenges of a fragmented health coverage system and expand primary healthcare, India has now announced “Ayushman Bharat” i.e Long Live india which rests on two pillars of health care delivery - Comprehensive Primary Health Care through one hundred fifty thousand Health and Wellness centres and financial protection up to Rupees five hundred thousand per family to disadvantaged families for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation through Prime Minister National Health Protection Scheme.

The Health and Wellness Centres would provide Preventive, promotive, rehabilitative and curative care for Reproductive, Maternal, Child, and Adolescents,  Communicable diseases, Non-communicable diseases, Ophthalmology, ENT, Dental, Mental, Geriatric care, Palliative care and treatment for acute simple medical conditions  close to the community. They would be linked to higher facilities through an effective referral system.

To assure continuity of care, strengthening of district hospitals for multi-speciality care is also being encouraged and supported. Simultaneously, India is strengthening its health systems across the country to provide free essential medicines and diagnostics free of cost for all in public facilities and address Human Resource Gaps.

Health assurance/insurance is being expanded both in terms of financial coverage as well as population coverage through Prime Minister National Health Protection Mission under which 100 million families (nearly 500 million individuals) will be able to avail cashless treatment up to USD 7,700 per family per year with no capping in family size.

Benefits will be portable across the country riding on a robust IT system that will be the backbone of the mission. The National Health Protection Mission shall be a pool of pre-payment arrangement in which government would carry out strategic purchasing of healthcare from the private and public sector to improve the quality of services deliver of private sector but also help in strengthening the public health care delivery system by bringing a healthy competition between public and private sector.

While experiences from the international community have served as key learnings for India, India has carved its own path and aspires to serve as a model for other countries.

Thank You.

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