The 2001 global Commission on Macroeconomics and Health report provided evidence linking greater investments in health to economic development. The CMH estimates indicated that, globally, scaling up essential interventions to combat major infectious disease and malnutrition could save eight million lives by 2010 and generate at least US$360 million annually by 2015-2020. The Commission emphasised that the poorest populations were disproportionately affected by preventable and curable diseases and bore the brunt of financial burden of disease.
The Commission recommended a massive scale-up of health investments, funded through a global partnership and accompanied by a critical review of the inefficiencies and malfunctioning of health systems. It endorsed the oversight and coordination of policy analysis and planning activities through intersectoral national macroeconomics and health commissions
In 2004, the Government of India established a National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health (NCMH), co-chaired by the Health and Family Welfare Minister and the Finance Minister. The Commission was comprised of high-level policy-makers and representatives of nongovernmental organizations, academia, and international organizations. The main technical body to assist the NCMH consisted of a small group of health-systems and economics experts. The NCMH technical sub-commission led the development of the research agenda and the writing of the NCMH report.
The NCMH had the overall objectives to assess the impact of increased investments in the health sector on poverty reduction and economic development of India; and to provide the evidence base to formulate a long-term programme for scaling up essential health interventions, with focus on the poor.
The NCMH report presents the economic basis for investing in health and the needed organizational and financial reforms towards universal access to essential interventions. The recommendations are based on available baseline information and projections on India's disease profile, the estimated costs of delivering packages of interventions based on minimum treatment guidelines and the current financing situations and available options.