India re­duces Na­tional Health Mis­sion fund­ing

BioSpectrum (Asia) - - News -

The flag­ship health pro­gramme of the gov­ern­ment of India has re­ceived ap­proval al­most 20 per cent lower than what the health min­istry said was needed. The Na­tional Health Mis­sion was re­newed by the Fi­nance Min­istry in Au­gust with $20 bil­lion of fund­ing be­tween 2017- 2020. This fig­ure was against the health min­istry’s es­ti­mated re­quire­ment of $25 bil­lion.

It was stated that the fi­nance min­istry re­duced planned fund­ing be­cause of other spend­ing pri­or­i­ties and be­cause of state gov­ern­ments’ poor track record of spend­ing the health bud­gets they’ve been al­lot­ted in the past. The Na­tional Health Mis­sion forms the back­bone of the In­dian pub­lic ser­vices and is one of the world’s largest health pro­grammes. It pro­vides ev­ery­thing from free drugs to im­mu­ni­sa­tion ser­vices to mil­lions of ru­ral poor.

The Na­tional Health Mis­sion typ­i­cally ac­counts for about half of the Union health bud­get and of­fi­cials said the lower spend­ing ap­proval would make achiev­ing the gov­ern­ment’s 2025 tar­get more dif­fi­cult. The gov­ern­ment is also con­cerned about states that do not have the gov­er­nance ca­pac­ity to spend large health bud­gets ef­fi­ciently.

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