New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) The Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, or people’s health movement network, has voiced concern over the 12th Five Year Plan document’s proposal for restructuring the country’s health system, saying it would “effectively hand over health care to the corporate sector”.
It said the draft health chapter of the Plan document has failed to “build on the recommendations of the High Level Expert Group set up by the Planning Commission and also misquoted the group’s recommendations in many places”.
It says that while invoking the concept of Universal Health Care, the draft chapter is “actually proposing a strategy that is far removed from the basic tenets of Universal Health Care”.
It says the plan document recommends increase in public expenditure on health from the present 1 percent to 1.58 percent of GDP, which, it says, is in sharp contrast to the high level group’s recommendation of increasing it to at least 2.5 percent of the GDP.
“Secondly, it proposes that the central government’s (which collects most of the taxes) share in the additional health expenditure would be less than half of what states would contribute and that centre’s contribution would be conditional on states’ contribution!”
“The Planning Commission seems to have decided that India will continue to be among the bottom 10 nations in terms of percent GDP spending on health,” it says in a statement Wednesday.
It voices concern over the plan document proposing a transition from “…the present system which is a mixture of public sector service provision plus insurance, to a system of health care delivered by a managed network”. ”
There is, thus, a road map envisaged where the government will abandon its central role of providing health care and become primarily just a ‘manager’ of the new system envisaged.”