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Poor health pushing 39 million Indians to poverty every year

Written By Sambasivarao on Friday, October 5, 2012 | Friday, October 05, 2012

Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad  said 39 million Indians are pushed to poverty because of ill health every year and around 30 per cent in rural India did not go for any treatment due to financial constraints, as per a WHO report. 

Addressing a Conference on 'Responsible Use of Medicine' at Amsterdam, Netherlands yesterday, Azad said India is embarking on an ambitious target of achieving Universal Health Coverage for all during the 12th Plan period, where all citizens will be entitled to comprehensive health security. 

Earlier quoting WHO's World Health Statistics 2012, Azad said almost 60 per of total health expenditure in India was paid by the common man from his own pocket in 2009. The report states that about 47 per cent and 31 per cent of hospital admissions in rural and urban India were financed by loans and sale of assets. 

India has already enacted the Clinical Establishment Act which will ensure that unnecessary drugs are not prescribed, he said. 

Azad said the recommendations of the Consultative Expert Working Group set up by WHO on research and coordination highlights the fact that very little research is happening in neglected diseases and intellectual property rights have become a barrier to access to medicines. 

"We need to consider the recommendations of the CEWG and ensure that adequate financing is made available to these diseases so that the poor and the vulnerable do not suffer from lack of proper medicines," he said. 

The goal of the afternoon session was to identify potential directions for the future.

(Source: Economic Times)
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