India is among the worst performers globally when it comes to public spending on health care. The latest national health profile revealing that per capita per year government spending on health is a mere Rs 1,657.
“There is still a long way to go before the target of public health expenditure is achieved and the central allocation for health for 2019-20 was far short of the target,” said the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its latest report.
India has come a long way with key indicators like maternal mortality rate (MMR), infant mortality rate (IMR), and child malnutrition, etc but a lot more need to be done.
Healthy human capital is the cornerstone for attaining sustainable economic growth. Investment in public healthcare is pivotal to reducing out of pocket expenses (OPE). India’s out of pocket expenses (OPE) is amongst the highest in the world.
Government Initiatives like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Mission Indradhanush, Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, etc are brilliant steps in overhauling India’s medical care system.
Having said that we could not ignore the fact that India’s public spending on health care as a percentage of the GDP is far lower than countries classified as the “poorest” in the world.
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The most important things which require urgent attention are:-
1>Primary health care institutions.
2>Spread of health insurance products and social security schemes.
3>Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendra, etc.
More investment in health care will ensure a healthy population, thus strengthening the nation’s human capital. Healthy human capital contributes to economic growth through improved productivity.