GoI to increase public health care expenditure from 1.15% to 2.5% by 2025

Published: September 28, 2020

On September 27, 2020, the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan announced that Government of India is to increase the health care expenditure in the country by 2.5% of GDP by 2025. Currently, the government is spending 1.15% of GDP to fulfil health care needs.

Highlights

The increase is being done based on the recommendation of the fifteenth finance commission high-level group. The information of increase was provided by the minister during his “Sunday Samvaad”.

Sunday Samvaad

It is an interactive programme of Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan with the social media users. During the programme, the minister answers to questions raised by several social media users.

Background

The National Health Policy, 2017 targeted the increase in public health expenditure to 2.5% of GDP. The pandemic has established a need to hasten the process. Also, there is an urgent need to strengthen public health sector, public health management, prevent and promote health care with special focus on urban health.

Why should India increase the expenditure?

India is more vulnerable to epidemics as compared to Italy and China where the pandemic was at its peak. India ranked 57th in Global Health Security rank. India’s spending on health is the lowest as compared to other advanced economies.

Challenges

In India, the health expenditure is driven by the states. This is because Health is state subject. The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme has been relaunched multiple times as it struggles for manpower and resources. The programme is considered to be the first line of defence against epidemics in India.

The Health Management Information System that was set up to plug the data gaps lags to maintain physical records according to CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) report, 2017.

The health expenditure in the country is not up to the need. Only 7% is spent on preventive health care and 80% on treatment and cure.

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