By Songbedna Bauri: Although, many industries in India are facing the heat of global meltdown, the healthcare sector received a significant boost as the Planning Commission announced a massive increase in the 12th Five Year Plan outlay. Reports suggest that in the 12th Five Year Plan, the expenditure on the health sector has now been raised from 1.4% to 2.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which the analysts claim to be a major jump. While talking to SME News about the importance of Indian healthcare sector, Dr DR Rai, Hony. secretary general, Indian Medical Association, said, “We are delighted with the government's move to raise the spending on healthcare sector and this move is worth appreciating. The other neighbouring nations spend more on the healthcare sector. In India, the primary healthcare facilities need to be improved. In fact, it is believed that more concentration needs to be given to healthcare infrastructure and sanitation in India.” Reports claim that in the past six years, Centre sanctioned an overall of Rs 52,832 crore under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) with the aim to enhance public health services with special emphasis on primary health care. The net spending by Centre during the period 2005-06 to 2009-10 stood at Rs 73,606 crore, out of which the net NRHM component was at Rs 38,420 crore, accounting for 52.2%. Moreover, Centre’s budgetary spending for health sector rose by 21.45% in the 2005-06 to 2009-10 period as against 10.85% per year in the 2001-02 to 2004-05 period. In FY10, the NRHM release stood at Rs 11,225 crore. Time and again, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has stated that there is an urgent requirement to develop sufficient capacity at Centre and the states, which will lead to the absorption of the risen outlay. Even, the Planning Commission has been requested to sanction sufficient resources in a bid to help initiatives running in the sector. Meanwhile, President Pranab Mukherjee said that as India is witnessing high variance in the quality of service presently in public and private sector hospitals, it is time to develop the country’s healthcare system to meet medical requirements of all sections. He also said that health of people is an integral part of a nation as an unhealthy person won’t be able to access opportunities for learning, growth and productive work. Medicines are responsible for 72% of private spending of health in India and technology-based initiatives consisting telemedicine has potential to widen the reach of healthcare.