India’s health woes: Budget for the National Health Mission remains stagnated at Rs 19,000 crore

HealthBudget-2

The union budget announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday emphasised on health insurance schemes and Public Private Partnership (PPP) instead of providing free healthcare services on a larger scale in country.

 

The union health ministry’s struggle for funds to drive public health programmes continues unabated as the budget for the National Health Mission remained stagnated at Rs 19,000 crore.

 

The union budget announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday emphasised on health insurance schemes and Public Private Partnership (PPP) instead of providing free healthcare services on a larger scale in country.

 

“As per the 12th Five Year Plan document, the total public funding by the Centre and states, on core health is envisaged to increase to 1.87 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the end of the twelfth plan.

 

The Draft National Health Policy 2015 also envisages raising progressively the public health expenditure to 2.5 per cent of the GDP,” Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State, Health and Family Welfare, told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

 

Least spending

India is one of the countries that spend the least on the healthcare sector with a public spending of around one per cent of GDP as compared to three per cent in China and eight per cent in the UK.

 

Consecutive governments and expert groups have recommended that at least 2.5 per cent of the GDP must be devoted to public expenditure on health because of the huge burden of diseases in India.

 

WHO statistics state that more than 52 lakh lives are lost annually in India and the death rate in urban India is expected to rise by 42 per cent by 2021.

 

While one person dies of a stroke every minute in India, every sixth patient below 40 years is a victim of cancer and cardio vascular disease. And, the economic burden of Non Communicable Diseases in India will be $6.2 trillion over the period of 2016-2030.

 

“The total expenditure for health is only 1.62 per cent of the whole budget out of which the National Health Mission has a share of less than one per cent. The government is deviating from the core strategies of the National Health Mission – there is no increase in allocation for the health sector. It appears to move towards a public-private partnership mode of operation,” said Ameer Khan from Society for Community Health Awareness Research and Action.

 

The Advanced Medical Technology Association – a trade association has said that it is disappointed to see no increase in public healthcare spending. Meagre health spends from the public sector, which is a little over one per cent of GDP is highly inadequate to aptly meet the requirements for a country like India.

 

Unhealthy healthcare budget

  • There has been no increase in the expenditure on public health in the budget announced on Monday.
  • As per 12th Five Year Plan document, total public funding on core health is envisaged to increase to 1.87 per cent of GDP by the end of the plan.
  • The Draft National Health Policy 2015 also envisages raising progressively the public health expenditure to 2.5 per cent of the GDP.
  • India is one of those countries that spend the least on healthcare sector with a public spending of around one per cent of the GDP.

Credit- indiatoday

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