Roundtable Discussion on “Health Commitments made in the Union Budget 2018”

L to R: Dr Pronab Sen, Mr Dinesh Trivedi (MP, AITMC), Ramesh Chandran (GPPI-CPR), Nidhi Dubey (GHS), Mr Keshav Desiraju                                    

The Union Budget 2018 has proposed a host of measures which is expected to transform the Indian healthcare system. The hallmark of the Budget pertaining to health insurance is the announcement of the National Health Protection Scheme. The budget has also allocated ₹1,200 crores to the Ayushman Bharat Programme in order to convert 1.5 lakh primary health centres (PHCs) to health and wellness centres focusing on disease prevention. These recent developments provide an opportunity for India to accelerate its health gains. The pathway for implementation of these targets and programmes, however, remains uncertain.

To discuss the role of political leaders in ensuring existing targets are met and planning how best to give public health goals like immunization and disease eradication the political stimulus they need, GHS and GPPI-CPR organized a roundtable on 21 March 2018. Mr Keshav Desiraju, Former Health Secretary, Government of India, and Dr Pronab Sen Country Director, International Growth Centre (IGC) discussed this issue in detail through their presentations.