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What National Health Profile says about targeted, actual health spend

The National Health Profile (NHP) is an annual stocktaking exercise on the health of the health sector.

At a time when Universal Health Coverage has become the new buzzword of healthcare in India since Ayushman Bharat, the National Health Profile 2019 throws up sobering figures. Between 2009-10 and 2018-19, India’s public health spend as a percentage of GDP went up by just 0.16 percentage points from 1.12% to 1.28% of GDP, and remains a far cry from the 2.5% GDP health spend that has been India’s target for some years now.

Rising medical expenditure
“The cost of treatment has been on rise in India and it has led to inequity in access to health care services. India spends only 1.28% of its GDP (2017-18 BE) as public expenditure on health. Per capita public expenditure on health in nominal terms has gone up from Rs 621 in 2009-10 to Rs 1,657 in 2017-18,” NHP 2019 says.

Compare this with the average total medical expenditure per childbirth in a public hospital: Rs 1,587 in a rural area and Rs 2,117 in an urban area. Based on Health Survey (71st round) conducted by NSSO, average medical expenditure incurred during hospital stay during January 2013-June 2014 was Rs 14,935 for rural and Rs 24,436 in urban India.

Government is committed to increasing India’s health spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2025, reaching to more than $100 billion. This will mean an actual increase of 345 per cent over the current share, in just eight years.

Source: The Indian Express

Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance



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