• A+
  • A-

Updates

PFI's Pre-Budget Statement

Posted on January 29, 2019

What young India needs most – a budgetary priority

Young people in India need jobs.  But they also urgently need access to appropriate family planning services.  Greater investments in sexual and reproductive health ought to become integral to the Prime Minister’s big push for universal health coverage. The upcoming budget is an opportunity for the Government to increase allocations for family planning activities to at least ten per cent of the total budget of the National Health Mission (NHM). This will signal both intent and commitment to Ayushman Bharat.

India’s public health care system has moved a step further towards universal health coverage with the launch of the Prime Minister’s Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) under Ayushman Bharat that seeks to provide free health coverage to 500 million citizens. The central plank of PM-JAY is to bring comprehensive primary care closer to the doorsteps of the community through the setting up of Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs). Providing financial protection to the poor by covering in-patient costs of medical treatment is also a significant component towards providing comprehensive primary, secondary and tertiary care.    However, budgetary allocations for health need to reflect greater alignment with India’s commitments to increase investments in health (National Health Policy 2017), family planning (India’s commitment to FP2020), the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal No. 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages), and  above all the most ambitious PMJAY.

The share of allocations for NHM has declined from 60 per cent in 2012-13 to 57 per cent of the total health budget in 2018-19.  Last year, the budgetary allocations for Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Flexipool, a component of the NHM budget critical to the  accomplishment of health outcomes under SDG3 such as reductions in child and maternal mortality,  and ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health services (SRH) including family planning increased marginally by 15 per cent over 2017-18 allocations.  However, budgets for family planning activities over the years have remained stagnant at 4 per cent of the NHM budgetary allocations. These allocations are inadequate to meet the unmet need for contraception of India’s youth (15-24 years) that constitutes 18 per cent of our population.

The allocations for procurement and distribution of contraceptives, which are exclusively provided as budgetary support from the Union government to the states, has been declining continuously over the years - from 3 per cent in 2013-14 to 1.5 per cent in 2018-19. This is far below the funds required to finance the country’s unmet need for family planning (13 per cent), the current demand for contraceptives particularly with the introduction in 2016 of three additional contraceptives in the public health system, and the much-needed improvements in quality of services.

 

The success of Ayushman Bharat, expected to become the world’s largest government-funded health care programme, will depend almost entirely on an increase in public expenditures on health accompanied by improvements in the efficiency of spending as well as in the quality of care provided to people.  With two-thirds of our population below 35 years of age, it is imperative to push for greater investments in family planning to reap the benefits of the demographic dividend. The Population Foundation of India looks forward to a substantial increase in fiscal allocations for health and family welfare in the upcoming budget. This would signal the Government’s intention to fulfill the commitment made in the National Health Policy 2017 to increase public spending on health from 1.15 to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025. Above all, it would signal the Government’s commitment to the young people of India.

 

 

Happenings

  • Malini Awasthi celebrates ‘Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon’ Real Hero...

    POSTED ON January 07, 2016

  • Statement on Chhattisgarh sterilisation deaths

    POSTED ON November 13, 2015

  • Prof Ranjit Roy Chaudhury, PFI Governing Board member and Chairman of...

    POSTED ON October 28, 2015

  • The Advisory Group on Community Action meets with senior officials at...

    POSTED ON October 07, 2015

  • Maharashtra Health Department Seeks Support for the Urban Health Progr...

    Maharashtra Health Department

    POSTED ON July 21, 2015

  • Pune Municipal Corporation Adopts PFI-HUP’s 60 Mahila Arogya Samitis...

    POSTED ON July 15, 2015

  • Need to Ensure Reproductive Health Is Integrated Into Emergency Respon...

    POSTED ON July 11, 2015

  • Call to Include Family Planning in Sustainable Development Goals, Inve...

    POSTED ON July 10, 2015

  • Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations...

    13th JRD Tata Memorial Oration Media Release

    POSTED ON April 24, 2015

  • The text of the 13th JRD Tata Oration delivered by Dr Babatunde Osotim...

    POSTED ON April 24, 2015

  • MARD founder Farhan Akhtar extends support to women’s empowerment th...

    POSTED ON April 16, 2015

  • PFI, ADRI & Editors come together for a unique venture to strengthen c...

    POSTED ON April 11, 2015