The objective of the 12th Five-Year Plan is to increase expenditure in the public health sector by two-three percent, the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia has said.
He aired his views while addressing mediapersons in Delhi.
Ahluwalia said the onus lay with the federal and state governments to work efficiently and increase spending in the public health sector.
"It is the objective to increase the public sector expenditure on health from somewhere around one percent to two-three percent exactly when we can reach that has to be worked out. When I say public expenditure on health, I mean both centre and states taking together and I mean both plan expenditure and non-plan expenditure. I mean in health the dominant expenditure is salaries ands therefore most of that would be normally outside the plan so we have got a big task in increasing public expenditure," said Ahluwalia.
He also emphasized the need for providing health insurance to workers in the health sector.
Highlighting the dearth of doctors in the country, he said it is important to verify the educational qualifications of doctors.
"So, the first issue is that to have a massive increase in the number of doctors and also even more the number of nurses in order to be able to provides a reasonable healthcare system. This is the first point; the second point is that the qualifications of people who get registered as doctors are quite surprising. 50 percent roughly of the people who in the census declared themselves s doctors and who are included in the per capita doctor calculations, 50 percent of them did not have an educational degree beyond secondary school, so a lot of the people who are calling themselves doctors are actually not medical graduates," said Ahluwalia.
Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also said that the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) would focus on health and education.
In August, Singh held discussions with the Planning Commission to finalize an approach paper for the 12th Five-Year Plan.