The share of government’s expenditure on health has increased by more than 10% in the past five years till financial year 2019, the economic survey released on Tuesday said.
Alongside, the survey said, the out-of-pocket expenditure of common man on health ailments has declined from 64% in financial year 2014 to 48% in financial year 2019, suggesting a positive trend.
“Ensuring the provision of quality health facilities to citizens, the share of government health expenditure in total health expenditure has increased from 28.6% in FY14 to 40.6% in FY19, with a concomitant decline in out-of-pocket expenditure as a percentage of total health expenditure from 64.2% in FY14 to 48.2% in FY19,” the survey said.
It points that augmentation of the rural public healthcare system and improvement of sub-centres, primary health centres (PHCs), and community health centres (CHCs) have been made in the past eight years, along with a rise in doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel.
In fact, the National Health Account (NHA) for the financial year 2019 (which is the latest available account) highlights “the rising importance of public healthcare and social security in ensuring universal health coverage”.
Health is an integral component of social welfare, leitmotif for the GovernmentComprehensive and ‘leave no one behind’ approach form the guiding principles of healthcare
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It estimates for FY19 show that there has been an increase in the share of government’s health expenditure in the total GDP from “1.2% in FY14 to 1.3% in FY19.”
Meanwhile, to align with the focus on providing healthcare services to everyone, the survey stated the government is focusing on primary healthcare expenditure which has “increased from 51.1% in FY14 to 55.2 per cent in FY19”.
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INDIA FACED COVID BRAVELY, EMERGED STRONGER
The survey applauds the performance of the government during the pandemic.
It said that the years 2020 and 2021 were the “peak years of the pandemic” and tested “the strength of the country’s social and health infrastructure”.
Hence, financial year 2023 has been a year of “rejuvenation for the sector” having “withered the storm” of the pandemic and come out “stronger”. “No set of measures is sufficient to counter any instantaneous shock like the Covid pandemic, as the measures are designed with the assumption of ‘ceteris paribus’, meaning everything else remains the same.”
But the major difference is that “we are operating in a new normal, and hence towards the end, it is all about better management of the crisis and planning ahead”.
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It added that India has created a strong inventory in the past few years, which will improve the country’s overall health infrastructure and governance system. It also lauded CoWin platform and said that the successful management of the Covid pandemic without this platform would not have been possible.
“To ensure accountability and transparency in supply chains for vaccination, the platform provided real-time stock tracking at the national, state, and district levels (Government and Private),” it said while adding that “CoWin also plugged the wastage of Covid-19 vaccines, which otherwise occurred pre-CoWIN”.
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COMFORTABLE DOCTOR TO PATIENT RATIO
With the intervention in the medical education system in the past eight years, India has a comfortable doctor to patient ratio, the economic survey said.
India has one doctor per 834 people against the benchmark ratio of one doctor per 1,000 people stated by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
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“The intervention in the medicinal education system since 2014 has resulted in improved recruitment of doctors and supporting staff,” the survey said.
As per National Medical Commission (NMC), 13,08,009 allopathic doctors are registered with the State Medical Councils and NMC as on June 2022, it said. “Assuming 80 per cent availability of registered allopathic doctors and 5.7 lakh AYUSH doctors, the doctor-population ratio in the country is 1:834 against the WHO norms of 1:1000.”
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