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Bill Gates meets Montek Singh Ahluwalia to discuss healthcare issues

NEW DELHI: US business leader and philanthropist Bill Gates met Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Wednesday to discusshealthcare issues, including India's low healthcare expenditure. 

"There were discussions on healthcare and vaccination. He appreciated the progress in immunization programme in India," a senior planning commission official told ET. India's 12th 
Five Year plan has projected to increase healthcare spending to 2.5% of GDP compared to little over 1% of its GDP every year as of now. 

This is significantly low as compared to 15% and 8.5% in US and UK respectively. 

Bill and 
Melinda Gates Foundation has been focussing on selected countries, including India, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, because of large numbers of unvaccinated children. 

In India, the foundation has been focusing on Bihar and UP to increase immunization coverage and is supporting programmes to test and evaluate a variety of innovations, including technologies for vaccine registration and mapping.