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MoHFW presents new areas of support to 15th Financial Commission amid COVID-19

MoHFW presents new areas of support to 15th Financial Commission amid COVID-19

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New Delhi [India], July 13 (ANI): The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday identified and presented new areas of support required from the 15th Financial Commission including Urban health, partial back-loading of funds and Post-COVID health sector reforms.
Members of the 15th Financial Commission held a meeting with the Union Health Ministry, Dr Harsh Vardhan and senior officials of the Health Ministry on specific issues.
In the view of COVID-19 outbreak, the Ministry highlighted the issues of revising the state-specific proposals of the Ministry, exploring the possibility of backloading in the light of fiscal strain and consideration of the suggestions of the High-Level Group of the XVFC on health by the Ministry.
The Ministry, in a detailed presentation, said that presently 35 per cent of the public health expenditure is done by the Central government and 65 per cent by the state governments.
The pandemic has established the importance of the need to strengthen the public health sector, surveillance and public health management, preventive and promotive health care with special focus on urban health. The Ministry also felt that there was a need to increase the allocation of MoHFW on year to year basis, read the release.
Identifying the new areas, the Ministry has submitted a revised proposal for fund requirement to the Finance Commission. These new areas included Urban health, essential medicines, Post-COVID health sector reforms, partial back-loading of funds and fund requirement revised from Rs 4.99 lakh Crore to Rs 6.04 lakh Crore for the period of the award of the XVFC i.e. 2021-22 to 2025-26, among others.
The Ministry also mentioned about the National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 targets such as increasing public health expenditure to 2.5 per cent of GDP, in a progressive manner by 2025, Primary Health Expenditure to be 2/3rd of the total health expenditure and increase state sector health spending to more than 8 per cent of their budget by 2020.
The meeting was chaired by NK Singh announced the Commission's decision of having a separate Chapter on Health in its Final Report to the Government. The Commission needed to know from the Ministry its views regarding the Central Government outlays, sector-specific initiatives based on conditionalities and how the money set apart for the 3rd tier could be assigned for health and health infrastructure.
The Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan described his vision for the improvement of India's health sector and appreciated the Commission's decision to reprioritize the sector, stated a press release.
The Commission noted all the points highlighted by the Minister and agreed that there was a need to increase public sector health outlay and also to develop a professional cadre of health workers. There was also a requirement for higher and continuing engagement of the states and the third tier for this purpose. The Commission assured that it would not be found wanting in giving serious consideration to all the issues raised in today's meeting. (ANI)

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