Minister of State for Health Dinesh Trivedi Friday said that
health and education should remain the focus if India wants to achieve its desired growth rate.
"The finance minister is confident of achieving nine
percent growth, but to attain that figure, health and education are the two
priorities," he said, addressing a function at the Federation of Indian
Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).
Stressing the need to provide health facilities to rural
areas, Trivedi said that 80 percent of the expenditure on health was from
private sector and it was entirely being spent in urban areas.
"80 percent of the expenditure is on 15 percent
population," he said and urged the private sector to come forward and
invest in rural areas.
Pitching for inclusion of drinking water under the ambit of
health ministry, Trivedi said that basic facilities like clean drinking water
and nutrition were the basic factors for ensuring equality.
"If we want to give equal rights to all, providing good
health is the first step. The civil society should back us in getting drinking
water under health ministry. Water-borne diseases are the basic health hazard
in rural areas," he said.
The minister also supported the new scheme for a short term
course in medicine for training doctors for rural areas.
"These doctors will be better than the quacks the rural
population goes to at present," he said.