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HLG proposes transfer of 'health'from State to concurrent list: Expert

HLG proposes transfer of
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The High-Level Group (HLG) on the health sector constituted by the 15th Finance Commission has recommended “Health” as a subject may be transferred...

Hyderabad: The High-Level Group (HLG) on the health sector constituted by the 15th Finance Commission has recommended "Health" as a subject may be transferred from State list to Concurrent list under Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.

As per the present constitutional arrangement, public health and hospitals are under the State List. Subjects like medical education, population control and family planning, adulteration of foodstuff, prevention of extension of infectious or contagious diseases from one State to another are under the concurrent list. Also, a large number of programmes have been sponsored and initiated by the Centre.

The panel felt that proposal to bring public health and hospitals under concurrent list deserves wider consultation and deliberations. NITI Aayog may be requested to hold wider consultations in this regard and then put up the matter to Inter State Council.

AIIMS Director (New Delhi) Dr Randeep Guleria acted as the convener of the six-member group that also had Prof K Srinath Reddy, president of Public Health Foundation of India, one of the members. However, noted medical expert and former NIMS director Dr D Raja Reddy differed with the panel recommendation.

He said that subjects like "Health" or for that matter "Law or Order" should be under the control and handled by the State.

"Overseeing the functioning of hospitals in all States from New Delhi is not possible. It should be better left with each State. Subjects like medical education or conducting of common entrance exam etc., should be under the purview of Centre," he felt.

Dr Raja Reddy pointed out this recommendation of shifting health subject from State list to Concurrent list had come up previously but the Union government did not approve it.

The HLG was told to evaluate the existing regulatory framework in the health sector for enabling a balanced yet faster expansion of the health sector, suggest ways to optimize the use of existing financial resources and to incentivise the State government's efforts on fulfilment of well-defined health parameters, to holistically examine best international practices for the health sector and seek to benchmark our frameworks to these practices for optimising benefits.

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