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Healthcare in India -- is the Narendra Modi government going to bring achche din?

The expenditure on the healthcare sector has risen from Rs. 10733.56 crores in 2005-06 to Rs. 29,653 crores in 2015-16.

When Narendra Modi was campaigning to become the Prime Minister of India, he said that the achche din (good days) would come for the common man after he gets elected. Whether such days have come or not, one may argue. We take a look at what the government has in mind for improving healthcare in India.

Expenditure on healthcare sector

The expenditure on the healthcare sector has risen from Rs. 10733.56 crores in 2005-06 to Rs. 29,653 crores in 2015-16.

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Some of the initiatives in which the government will spend money are:

  • Establishment/up-gradation/renovation of health infrastructure;
  • engagement of nurses, doctors and specialists on contract basis to meet deficit in human resources in health sector;
  • making available improved health facilities including free essential medicines in all public health facilities;
  • selection and training of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA);
  • for Mobile Medical Units and Emergency Referral Transport Services, and
  • for initiatives like Janani-Shishu Suraksha Karyakram(JSSK), Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) and Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK)

Free generic drugs

Generic drugs which are cheaper (but just as effective) versions of brand name drugs will be made available for free to those who access the public health facilities. The government also plans to strengthen guidelines that increase punishment for those who manufacture spurious or sub-standard drugs. Read about all that you need to know about generic drugs.

Family planning

Population explosion is one of the serious problems facing India today, and the Modi government too has a plan in mind to curb it. Right from Social Health Activists delivering contraceptives from door to door, to promotion of non-scalpel vasectomy , the government is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to promotion of family planning. Read about why male sterilisation is the least preferred family planning method.

Private healthcare industry

The Indian healthcare industry is expected to grow at a rate of 17 per cent from 2011 to 2020, and the total expenditure could touch US $ 280 billion by 2020.

The Government recently, reviewed the Policy on FDI in Pharma Sector and has allowed FDI up to 100% under the automatic route for the manufacturing of medical devices.

With inputs from Ministry of Health and Welfare, Government of India

Image source: Getty Images


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