07:46 GMT +323 September 2019
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    Indian medical staff at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital

    India Aims to Increase Public Health Spending to Meet Development Goals

    © AFP 2019 / SAM PANTHAKY
    Asia & Pacific
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    Currently, India spends less than one percent of its GDP on public health programmes. Increasing it to 2.5 percent is welcome but may not be sufficient says an expert who observes that the delivery aspect would remain a huge concern unless an outcome accountability mechanism is put in place.

    India has committed to increasing public health spending to 2.5% of GDP while striving to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) goals for maternal and child health ahead of the 2030 deadline.

    "We are committed to increasing India's health spending to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2025, reaching to more than $100 billion. This will mean an actual increase of 345 percent over the current share, in just eight years", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while inaugurating the Partners' Forum, a two-day global conference in New Delhi on Wednesday.

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    "The India story is one of hope. Hope that roadblocks can be overcome. Hope that behavioural change can be ensured. Hope that rapid progress can be achieved", Modi said at the forum attended by 1,200 delegates including 25 ministers from 85 countries.   

    The global event hopes to accelerate efforts to reduce child and maternal mortality, improve adolescent, child, newborn, and maternal health, by learning from the success stories of other countries. This is second such forum being held in India; the first one was held in 2010.

    "The current spending of the government on public health is around a little less than one percent of the GDP. Increasing it to 2.5 percent is welcome but may not be sufficient though. Another concern is the delivery aspect of it. Government needs to put in place an outcome accountability mechanism", Dr Bobby John, founding member of the Global Health Advocates told Sputnik.

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    With respect to achieving the SDGs, one must not forget that various ministries are involved in attaining the goals and there must be urgent efforts to develop that synergy between the different stake holders, he added.

    Partners' Forum is a global health partnership launched in September 2005. This partnership is an alliance of more than 1,000 members, across 10 constituencies in 92 countries.

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    Tags:
    child care, maternal mortality, public health, spending, Narendra Modi, India
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