President Pranab Mukherjee said on Sunday that India should allocate more funds for healthcare.

Even as the budgetary allocation for the sector had increased to nearly Rs 26,700 crore in 2011-12 from Rs 8,000 crore in 2004-05, it was inadequate to meet the country’s healthcare needs, he said. “Unlike the developed countries in the world, our expenditure on healthcare is still not adequate. There is a major gap in terms of basic infrastructure for healthcare at the grassroots,” Mukherjee said while inaugurating Sanjiban , a multi-specialty private hospital, at Fuleswar in Howrah district.

Even though the National Rural Health Mission has been instrumental in reaching out to villagers to a certain extent, it was not enough to bridge the gap in infrastructure, he pointed out.

He said only 20 per cent of the total healthcare expenditure was being financed by the Central , State local Government bodies.

Despite estimated investment in healthcare and education being hiked in the 12th Plan, there was prior need for private participation to offer quality healthcare, Mukherjee said.

On the occasion, he appreciated the efforts of Subhasis Mitra, Director of Sanjiban Hospital, for setting up the multi-speciality hospital with the promise of providing affordable and quality healthcare.