From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Concurrent List
Mains level : India's healthcare
Health should be shifted to the Concurrent list under the Constitution, and a developmental finance institution (DFI) dedicated to healthcare investments set up, Fifteenth Finance Commission Chairman N.K. Singh has said.
Other key recommendations
- 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.
- He has urged the government spending to enhance expenditure on health to 2.5% of GDP by 2025.
- He said primary healthcare should be a fundamental commitment of all States in particular and should be allocated at least two-thirds of such spending.
The Concurrent List or List-III (of Seventh Schedule) is a list of 52 items (though the last subjects are numbered 47) given in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India.
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. 1) Union List, 2) State List and 3) 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.
Healthcare in India
- The Indian Constitution has incorporated the responsibility of the state in ensuring basic nutrition, basic standard of living, public health, protection of workers, special provisions for disabled persons, and other health standards, which were described under Articles 39, 41, 42, and 47 in the DPSP.
- Article 21 of the Constitution of India provides for the right to life and personal liberty and is a fundamental right.
- Public Health comes under the state list.
- India’s expenditure on healthcare has shot up substantially in the past few years; it is still very low in comparison to the peer nations (at approx. 1.28% of GDP).