The government's expenditure on health services has increased continuously over the years and the target is to raise it to 2.5 per cent of the country's GDP by 2025, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told the Rajya Sabha Tuesday.
In reply to a query during Question Hour, he said the experience of last 10 years shows that with every passing year, the public expenditure on health services is "continuously increasing".
The minister informed that the National Health Policy 2017 envisages increasing the public health expenditure to 2.5 per cent of the GDP by 2025.
The policy recommends that State governments should spend more than 8 per cent of their budget on the health sector by 2020.
Replying to supplementaries, the minister said the government proposes to set up 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres by 2022 under the Aayushman Bharat programme. Of this 18,000-19,000 have already been established, he said.
These centres will boost healthcare facilities in the rural as well as Urban areas.
In a written reply, Vardhan said the government announced 4 per cent health and education cess in place of 3 per cent education cess on personal income tax and corporation tax to cater to the education and health needs of poor and rural families.
In addition, he said the Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) has started supporting the infrastructure works of medical institutions.