- India’s per capita public expenditure on health increased from Rs 621 in 2009-10 to Rs 1,112 (around $16 at current exchange rate) in 2015-16
- According to National Health Profile (2018), around 43 crore individuals or 34% of the population were covered under any health insurance in 2016-17
It is not difficult to diagnose the ailments of health system. System that requires more input, is suffering due to decades of neglect. It reflects a lower priority to health sector.
India’s public health expenditure — 1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) — may have witnessed a marginal improvement from 0.98% in 2014, but it is still way behind even the low-income countries that spend 1.4% on an average, shows National Health Profile 2018.
India is spending even less than some of its neighbors countries such as Bhutan (2.5%), Sri Lanka (1.6%) and Nepal (1.1%), according to the annual report released on Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, the health intelligence wing of the directorate general of health services in the Union ministry of health and family welfare.
In World Health Organization’s South-East Asian Region, which includes 10 countries, India finishes second last, above only Bangladesh (0.4%), when their health expenditure is compared. Maldives spends 9.4% of its GDP to claim the top spot in the list, followed by Thailand (2.9%).
India’s National Health Policy 2017 proposes raising the public health expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP by 2025.
India currently spends a little over 1% of GDP on health, far below Singapore which has the lowest public spend on health at 2.2% of GDP among countries with significant universal health coverage (UHC) service, according latest National Health Profile (NHP) data.
India’s per capita public expenditure on health increased from Rs 621 in 2009-10 to Rs 1,112 (around $16 at current exchange rate) in 2015-16. However, it is still “nominal”, compared to other countries. Switzerland spends $6944 on health per capita, whereas the US spends $4802 and UK spends$3500.
Government plans to launch its ambitious National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS)- Ayushman Bharat – to cover over 10 crore poor families with an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh per family. A successful implementation may bring some positive change to the ailing system.
Real challenge is to provide basic health facilities to remote areas. Even good preventive care and primary care to under privileged can also bring a significant change.