"As part its National Health Mission, India should make a National Health Insurance scheme as one of its priority areas, with a large population of the country still living in poverty" he said., adding that uniform access to healthcare was vital if the country was to progress.
Sachs, who is also Director of the UN Millennium Development Project, said that so far India had "underinvested" in the health sector. "India ranks 165th out of 177 in the share of public sectoral spending on health," he said.
The Central and State governments should address issues like shortage of trained manpower, lack of access to medicines and beef up quality in public healthcare. "Increasing the level of investment in human resources- nurses, paramedics and community health workers is the need of the hour," he added.