PM for hassle-free outpatient care in public hospitals
New Delhi: Noting that insurance schemes tended to focus on inpatient care, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said India needs to work towards hassle-free and cashless outpatient care in its public hospitals.He also said that education and health will be the key priorities of the 12th Five Year Plan and stressed that more efforts were required to reach the goals of increasing public expenditure on health to 2.5 per cent of GDP."We need to work towards hassle-free and cashless outpatient care in our public hospitals," he said while speaking at the polio summit here.Crediting the 23 lakh volunteers who helped India achieve the feat of a year free of polio cases, Singh said the government needs to accelerate efforts to achieve the goal of providing universal access to health care."We need to accelerate our efforts to achieve our goal of providing universal access to health care. This needs first and foremost a determined effort to strengthen our public health system," he said.Demonstrating his commitment to take forward the goal of universal access to health, the PM said two-thirds of private health care expenditure is on outpatient and diagnostic care and purchase of medicines.Noting that insurance schemes tended to focus on inpatient care, the PM said the government needed to work on cashless OPD care in public hospitals.This is also a major recommendation of the high-level expert group of the Planning Commission to show the vision of universal health care which had also proposed cashless health package for all.Backing universal health care, Singh said the vision would unite all in a concerted effort to promote everyone`s health."Just as the polio campaign saw the state and central governments working closely with a common purpose, I am confident that the vision of universal health care will unite all of us in a concerted effort to preserve, protect and promote the health of all our people," he said.