Vice President M Hamid Ansari calls for balanced approach between health infrastructure and demands

Vice President M Hamid Ansari.

New Delhi, Jan 14: Vice President M. Hamid Ansari on Friday called for a balanced approach between the creation of clinical health infrastructure and the demands of public health.

“In recent years healthcare in India has been in public focus with particular emphasis on referral hospitals. In 2014, the government announced that it would set up 10 more institutions like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) across the country, ” Ansari said.

He was addressing the 4th Convocation ceremony of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences here, attended by Delhi Lt. Governor Anil Baijal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, and Delhi Minister of Health and Family Welfare Satyendar Jain and senior officials.

Ansari said, “India is experiencing a rapid health transition, but the country’s disease burden remains extraordinarily high.”

“We are confronted both by an unfinished agenda of infectious diseases, nutritional deficiencies and unsafe pregnancies as well as the challenge of escalating epidemics of non-communicable diseases,” the Vice President said.

“This composite threat to the nation’s health and development needs a concerted public health response that can ensure efficient delivery of cost-effective interventions for health promotion, disease prevention and affordable diagnostic and therapeutic healthcare,” he added.

Pointing out low expenditure on public health, Ansari called for an increase in public expenses, both by the Centre and the states, on public health concerns.

Speaking on the absence of universal health coverage in India and limited social health coverage, Ansari said: “This has led to a high burden of out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditure in India.”

Out-of-Pocket expenditure accounts for about 86 per cent of private expenditure and 60 per cent of overall healthcare expenditure in our country. IANS