The assurance of the Planning Commission that it will revise the chapter on health for the 12th Five Year Plan is comforting. The draft chapter has chosen to ignore many recommendations made by the working groups set up by the Commission for the 12th Plan. For example, the recommendations of the working group of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) barely reflect in the plan document.
There are huge concerns over the government’s resource provisioning: only 1.5% of the GDP as the total public investment on health, despite the prime minister’s assurance of an increase to 2.5% of GDP over the plan period. The emphasis on privatisation and corporatisation of the health sector is also problematic. Many of us are concerned over the inadequate attention given to issues affecting the poor and the marginalised, especially women. Almost 43% of Indian women between 20 and 24 years are married by the age of 18. One in eight is a mother of three children while still in her teens. We have high levels of maternal, neonatal and child mortality. Read more
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