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Experts question how India will meet promises on public health after cut in budget for 2015-16

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1244 (Published 05 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1244
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

A proposed 16% cut in funding for the Indian health ministry for the coming fiscal year has triggered concerns over how the government will keep the pledges it made last year to provide free drugs and diagnostic tests and universal healthcare coverage.

The Indian government’s budget for the year beginning 1 April 2015, presented by the finance minister Arun Jaitley on 28 February, has allocated Rs297bn (£3bn; €4bn; $4.5bn) to the health and family welfare ministry—less than the previous fiscal year’s budget of Rs352bn.

The central government said that a modified financial plan aimed at increasing devolution of tax revenues would provide states across the country with extra funds for use in health, among other sectors. But public health experts have said that the budget …

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