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Investment in public health yields great returns, says Narayana Murthy

Updated: February 3, 2015, 6:46 PM IST
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Investment in public health yields great returns, says Narayana Murthy
Narayana Murthy said that the first step in ensuring that people are capable of participating in economic activity is to ensure that they are healthy.

Hyderabad: Investment in public health produces enormous returns in the long term, Infosys Founder and PHFI's Leadership Council Chairman NR Narayana Murthy said on Tuesday.

The first step in ensuring that people are capable of participating in economic activity is to ensure that they are healthy, Murthy said at foundation stone laying ceremony of the construction of a permanent campus of Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH).

"And clearly, the next step to make sure that they are healthy is to provide very good public health services and the third step is medicine. But, if we can in some way put enough focus on public health services, lot of the diseases that are acquired because of lack of public health service will be eliminated," he said.

Therefore, in the long term, investment in public health produces enormous returns, he said. He requested Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to adopt this institute as an important child of his and provide all support and encouragement it needs.

"If we get the support and encouragement we need, I have no doubt at all that Telangana will become the healthiest state in this country and consequently it will become the richest state, the state with the highest per capita GDP and we all know that is the dream of the Chief Minister," he said.

Murthy further said the institute will be a hub for research and training to advance innovations and provide solutions for improving health service delivery. "By integrating information technology and public health, especially drawing on the advantages that IT city Hyderabad has to offer, outreach and effectiveness of health care delivery can be greatly enhanced. This will truly benefit society at large," he added.

Earlier, the Chief Minister, who laid the foundation stone of the IIPH-H, the southern regional campus of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), announced release of Rs 10 crore for the project with immediate effect. The phase-I of the project, which consists of academic and hostel blocks and South Asia Centre for Disability Inclusive Development and Research and 2,00,000 sq feet with an initial investment of Rs 60 crore, will be ready over the next 24 months.

Rao said he would convene a meeting with PHFI and state health officials to provide the remaining Rs 20 crore (government's contribution), out of the total of Rs 60 crore. He regretted that despite spending Rs 5,000 crore every year on public health in Telangana state, it did not yield satisfactory results. PHFI president Dr K Srinath Reddy also spoke on the occasion.

First Published: February 3, 2015, 6:46 PM IST
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