Govt to give free generic drugs at public hospitals

Written by Press Trust of India | Updated: Feb 28 2012, 09:31am hrs
Admitting that the health care system was overwhelmed by inequities, health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said the government would provide universal health care in the 12th Plan and take steps to ensure free generic drugs at all public health facilities so as to reduce out of pocket expenditure of patients.

In the 12th Plan, in our attempt to provide universal health care, steps would be taken to provide free generic drugs at all public health facilities for reducing financial burden on the patients, said Azad while addressing a National

Consultation on "Social determinants of Health" here on Monday.

About 70% of out of pocket expenditure on health care in India is on drugs.

Azad said the healthcare system in itself was an important social determinant and to address the problem of inequity in health care, the government had launched several programmes to provide affordable, accessible and quality healthcare to all, especially the vulnerable sections of society.

The minister vowed to take forward the recommendations on Universal Health Care (UHC) for all as made by a Planning Commission expert group which was set up in 2010 to show the way forward on UHC. The panel recommended public procurement of drugs and free delivery of generics.

The minister said, The healthcare system and health status of population was is still overwhelmed by inequities related to accessibility and affordability.