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IMA suggests 5 per cent of GDP spending on healthcare

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New Delhi, May 14, 2020-

Two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a massive financial package to revive the country’s economy by outlining a total stimulus of Rs 20 lakh crore, or 10 per cent of the country’s GDP, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has now suggested that the government should invest 5 per cent of GDP in the healthcare sector.

“IMA bats for cash transfer to the poor, investment of 5 per cent of GDP in health by governments and provide stimulus to clinics, small and medium hospitals run as professional medical practice.” said Dr R.V. Asokan, Secretary General of the IMA.

The Association said it believes that India will slide down in health parameters including lifespan, infant mortality and maternal mortality if issues of unemployment and poverty are not addressed on a war footing.

The Association said that if timely measures are not taken then the conquered and forgotten diseases are bound to re-emerge.

“TB that kills over 2,200 Indians daily, in today’s scenario, is expected to upscale at least by 15 per cent. The road to Health begins by taking poverty head on and the clock starts with an appropriate response to the migration crisis both in scale and quality,” it said.

The Association said that the Universal Basic Income and Universal Health Coverage have now become affordable and are no longer a luxury, but in fact a tool of survival. While the sophisticated response of the healthcare insurance model seems to be a failure, public health infrastructure and human resources remain the insurance against any exigencies.

Dr Rajan Sharma, National President of the IMA, said “The current lockdown has partitioned us horizontally between haves and have nots. Looking at the scale of migration and the tales of human miseries, the uncertainties hanging over their lives are heartrending.”

“Providing for the hapless migrants today and for their tomorrow is our top most priority. Instead of increasing shifts to 12 hours we should focus on implementing 4 shifts of 6 hrs each to accommodate more people. Creation of low-tech jobs in agriculture, road construction and irrigation invest into the disempowered section of the society,” he added.  (Agency)

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