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Outlay for health sector needs to be increased significantly post-COVID: Singh

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The outlay for health sector has to be raised significantly in the post-COVID era, besides increasing availability of doctors and paramedics in rural areas, 15th finance Commission Chairman N K Singh said on Thursday.

He said the immediate need is to beef up health infrastructure and also increase availability of anaesthesia.

"Outlay for health sector has to be increased significantly," Singh said, adding the current level of spending is 0.9 per cent of GDP.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with a high-level group on health sector, he said the immediate need would be how to address the growing need of rural India and one of the options is to rope in final year MBBS students for this.

The 15th Finance Commission had reconvened itsHigh Level Group (HLG) on Health Sector headed by AIIMS DirectorRandeep Guleriain the light of recent developments due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The commission felt an immediate need to reassess the requirement of health manpower (medical and paramedical) and estimated requirement of resources for 2021-22 to 2025-26 in relation to the health infra-gap (hospital infrastructure, medical equipment, PPE, etc).

Further, the mechanism to fund these requirements will need to be critically examined, including the enhanced role of the private sector.

Besides AIIMS Director Guleria, the HLGincludedDevi Shetty, chairman, Narayana Health City; Deelip Govind Mhaaisekar, Vice Chancellor, Maharashtra University of Health Science; Naresh Trehan, Medanta City; Bhabatosh Biswas, Prof & HoD of Cardio Thoracic Surgery, R G Kar Medical College;andProf K Srinath Reddy, President of Public Health Foundation of India.

The group has also included as members S KSarin, Director, Institute of Liver andBiliarySciences (ILBS), New Delhi and HarshMahajan, Founder,MahajanImaging, New Delhi.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 21 2020. 22:47 IST