Decline in Per Capita Government Spending on Healthcare

According to the recently released National Health Accounts 2018-2019, public spending of health has declined to 1.28 per cent of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Key Facts

  • The National Health Accounts 2018-2019 revealed that the public spending on healthcare has fallen from 1.35 per cent in 2017-18 to 1.28 per cent in 2018-19.
  • This is significantly lesser than the goal set by the National Health Policy 2017, which sought to increase the government’s healthcare spending to 2.5 per cent by 2025.
  • The government spent Rs.1,815 per capita on health in 2018-19 as against Rs.2,155 per capita out-of-pocket spending during the same period.
  • The total health expenditure in 2018-19 was Rs.5,96,440 crore. The government spending accounted for 40.61 per cent of this amount. This is 4.81 per cent of the General Government Expenditure during that period.
  • The corresponding share of out-of-pocket expenditure is 48.2 per cent. This is nearly half of all health spending and higher than the government spending.
  • Over 28.69 per cent of health expenditure was in private hospitals. This is higher than the health expenditure in government hospitals, which accounted for 17.34% in the health expenditure.
  • Much of the spending went into impatient curative care, which accounted for 34.55% of the expenditure.
  • The latest figures are in line with the current trend of a decline in out-of-pocket expenditure as a share of total health expenditure. In 2013, it accounted for 64.2 per cent of the total health expenditure.
  • However, the household out-of-pocket expenditure on health continues to dominate as it stood at Rs. 2,87,573 crore in 2018-19.
  • The private health insurance expenditure accounts for just 6.57 per cent of the total health spending and has been stagnating for years.
  • This is mainly because of the rigid conditions and inequities put by the private insurance firms.

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