Question – India health care system, with one of the most privatized in the world, is inadequately regulated and accessible only to those with above average income levels. comment. – 7 December 2021
Answer – Efficient, accessible and affordable healthcare is a necessity for any developing country like India. While India has made significant achievements in tackling health problems, it is also struggling to meet its commitments under the SDGs and national policies. The following observations can be made regarding the health system in the country-
- According to the National Health Accounts data for 2013-14, government expenditure on health was 1.15 per cent of GDP. Since then, it has gradually increased to just 1.3%. This is still lower than countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where the figure was 2.9% six years ago.
- This situation paved the way for a larger private healthcare system as it fills existing gaps or gaps in the supply of health services.
- In the absence of monitoring, there has been haphazard development of the private sector. The high cost of private health care further makes it difficult for the poor to access healthcare.
- Currently, about 69 percent of money circulating in healthcare goes out of pocket. It pushes many poor people into the ditch of poverty. Additionally, only 9.6% of the current government expenditure on health is on preventive care.
- Free entitlement of care at SNCUS under Mission Indradhanush, National Skills Laboratory-Daksha, JSSK Integrated National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke and other recent initiatives increase access to affordable health services .
- AYUSH has been brought into the mainstream to increase the accessibility and availability of first stage medical advice.
- The 12th Five Year Plan and the draft National Health Policy aim to increase public expenditure to 2.5% of GDP, but this will require additional effort.
- Screening of children under RBSK (National Child Health Programme) improves life expectancy of children through early detection of congenital defects, diseases, defects, developmental delays including disability (4D- birth defects, diseases, deficiencies, development delays including disability). The overall quality will improve and the out-of-pocket expenditure for the families will be reduced.
Provisions made for health in the Union Budget 2021-22
- An expenditure of Rs 2,23,846 crore has been kept in the budget in the financial year 2021-22 in health and wellness as compared to Rs 94,452 crore in 2020-21. This represents an increase of 137
- Taking a holistic approach to health, the focus is on strengthening three areas – preventive, curative, remedial.
- Steps to improve health and well-being
- Rs 35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccine in the year 2021-22
- The Made in India pneumococcal vaccine will currently be rolled out across the country with five states – thereby preventing 50,000 child deaths every year.