June , 2024
National Health Policy Goals Drive Surge in Indian Healthcare Funding
17:13 pm

Kuntala Sarkar

On April 7, the global community observed World Health Day, sparking concerns within the Indian healthcare sector about its growth trajectory. A recent Lancet report highlighted that the Indian government allocates only 1.2% of GDP to healthcare, ranking among the lowest among G20 nations. The report emphasized the lack of comprehensive health data, citing it as a significant challenge hindering progress, alongside persistent disparities in healthcare access and quality.

In response, a government spokesperson cited the National Health Policy of 2017, aiming to increase public health investment to 2.5% of GDP by 2025. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has urged states to prioritize healthcare funding, aiming for a yearly 10% budget increase to meet this goal. Government sources noted a surge in healthcare spending, with out-of-pocket expenditure declining from 62.6% in 2014-15 to 47.1% in 2019-20. The Department of Health and Family Welfare’s budget estimates rose significantly, from  Rs.36,948 crore in 2014-15 to  Rs.86,175 crore in 2023-24, reflecting a 133.23% increase.

Additionally, the 15th Finance Commission allocated  Rs.70,051 crore for health grants to local governments, contributing to the sector’s growth. National Health Accounts data for 2019-20 showed a substantial rise in total health expenditure, increasing from  Rs.4,83,259 crore in 2014-15 to Rs.6,55,822 crore.


 Exploring the Impact of Nutritious Snacks on Enhancing Immunity and Family Health

Amidst the hectic pace of modern life, our reliance on unhealthy snacks often undermines our well-being, particularly our immune system. To address this issue, the Almond Board of California convened a panel discussion titled ‘Choosing Smart Snacks for a Healthier Family and Resilient Immunity’ at The Park Hotel in Kolkata. The panel featured Bollywood actress Soha Ali Khan, Celebrity Pilates Master Instructor Yasmin Karachiwala, and Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head of Dietetics at Max Healthcare – New Delhi.
The discussion underscored the significance of mindful snacking, advocating for the integration of nutrient-dense choices like almonds into daily diets to fortify immunity and foster family wellness. The speakers highlighted almonds’ pivotal role in bolstering immunity and overall health, owing to their abundance in vital nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, protein, riboflavin, zinc, vitamin B2, and phosphorus. Additionally, almonds boast high levels of copper and zinc, essential elements that support immune system functionality, thereby contributing to holistic well-being. 
Throughout the session, the panelists emphasized how almonds’ satiating properties aid in weight management by staving off hunger between meals, while simultaneously enhancing immunity and nurturing overall health.
Furthermore, the discussion stressed the importance of embracing clean and balanced eating practices, particularly in light of the prevalence of convenient, processed foods. The panel recommended integrating seasonal fruits, vegetables, and almonds into one’s dietary regimen to promote a lifestyle cantered on wellness.
Yasmin Karachiwala, Celebrity Pilates Master Instructor said, “Among the numerous natural and healthy snacking options available, almonds stand out as the best. Rich in vital nutrients like protein, fiber, and antioxidants, almonds nourish the body, boost immunity, and help keep diseases at bay. Additionally, engaging in regular physical exercise is crucial for a healthy body and mind.”
During the session, Bollywood Actress Soha Ali Khan said, “Almonds play a crucial role in our diet, and over the years, I have personally experienced the numerous nutritional and health benefits they offer.”
Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head, Dietetics, Max Healthcare – Delhi said, “Almonds, in particular, provide a steady source of energy, keeping me focused and active throughout the day. Therefore, I highly recommend almonds as a convenient snack option, whether it’s for mid-morning or mid evening.” 

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