New Delhi, Jan 25: The healthcare sector in the country is currently facing tough challenges as government’s spending in this area has been coming down over years. Despite the fact that the healthcare sector was among the top priorities in the manifesto of the BJP, the party cut government’s spending on the healthcare sector to 1.2 percent of the GDP, the lowest ever, in the last Budget. Ahead of the Budget 2017, an overwhelming majority of the citizens want the government to increase its expenditure on healthcare.

According to the survey of the LocalCircles, majority of the people want government to increase fund for the healthcare sector as well as to take initiatives to improve infrastructure and facility of government hospitals. An overwhelming 89 percent of the citizens want the government to increase its expenditure on healthcare, found the survey.

As per the survey findings, 40 percent of the citizens want that the government should invest in improving the facilities at government hospitals. While 24 percent want more hospitals like AIIMS, another 21 percent sought subsidies in the cost of treatments and medicine, suggested the poll.

While China spends 3 percent of its GDP on healthcare, the global average is 5.4 percent of GDP. But the India spends only 1.2 percent of the GDP on the healthcare sector. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), India is at 112 position out of 170 countries in terms of its healthcare systems.

A staggering 70 per cent of India’s population lives in rural areas and has no or limited access to hospitals and clinics. Nearly one million Indians die every year due to inadequate healthcare facilities. An increase in the budgetary allocation, which will improve the healthcare infrastructure and facilities, is the only way India can fight against diseases.