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Shifting ‘Health’ To The Concurrent List

Shifting ‘Health’ To The Concurrent List

Why in news?

  • Fifteenth Finance Commission Chairman N.K. Singh said that health should be shifted to the Concurrent list under the Constitution.
  • At present, ‘Health’ is under the State List.
  • Bringing health into the Concurrent list would give the Centre greater flexibility to enact regulatory changes and reinforce the obligation of all stakeholders towards providing better healthcare.

What is the Seventh Schedule?

  • This Schedule of the Indian Constitution deals with the division of powers between the Union government and State governments.
  • It defines and specifies the allocation of powers and functions between Union & States. It contains three lists; i.e.
    • Union List,
    • State List and
    • Concurrent List.

The Union List

  • It is a list of 98 (Originally 97) numbered items as provided in the Seventh Schedule.
  • The Union Government or Parliament of India has exclusive power to legislate on matters relating to these items.

The State List

  • It is a list of 59 (Originally 66) items.
  • The respective state governments have exclusive power to legislate on matters relating to these items.

The Concurrent List

  • There are 52 (Originally 47) items currently in the list.
  • This includes items which are under the joint domain of the Union as well as the respective States.

Benefits of Shifting ‘Health’ to the Concurrent List

  • Centre will have Greater Flexibility in providing better healthcare facilities
  • Easy implementation of regulatory changes and reinforcement of the obligation of all stakeholders.
  • Better Rationalization and Streamlining of the Multiple Acts
  • Centre can provide Expertise to States

Suggestions by N.K. Singh

  • Increase the government spending on health to 2.5% of GDP by 2025.
  • Primary healthcare should be a fundamental commitment of all States in particular and should be allocated at least two-thirds of health spending.
  • To have a standardization of health care codes for both the Centre and states.
  • Forming an All India Medical and Health Service.
  • Given the inter-state disparity in the availability of medical doctors, it is essential to constitute the Service as is envisaged under Section 2A of the All-India Services Act, 1951.
  • Emphasized the importance of universalizing healthcare insurance, as a large section of the society still remain uncovered.

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Mussoorie Times

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