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Healthcare spending needs to be 2.5-3 pc of GDP: Economic Survey

Healthcare spending needs to be 2.5-3 pc of GDP: Economic Survey

New Delhi, Jan 29 (UNI) The Economic Survey 2020-21 tabled in Parliament has asked for increasing public spending on healthcare services to 2.5-3 per cent of the GDP from 1 per cent now.
This, it says, will bring down Out-of-pocket-expenditure to 35 per cent from 65 per cent of the overall healthcare spend.
Out-of-pocket expenditure, an expenditure borne directly by a patient where insurance does not cover the full cost of the health good or service, is one of the highest levels in India.
In terms of healthcare budget, India ranks 179th out of 189 countries in prioritization accorded to health in its government budgets.
On quality and access of healthcare, India was ranked 145th out of 180 countries (Global Burden of Disease Study 2016).
The survey says that at 3-4 per cent, the hospitalization rates in India are among the lowest in the world (average for middle-income countries is 8-9 per cent and 13-17 per cent for OECD countries).
The survey points out that the recent COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of the healthcare sector and its linkages with other key sectors.
"Healthcare has finally taken the centre stage. The key role of the government is to actively shape the structure of the healthcare market,” it says.
The survey says there is a need to consider having a sectoral regulator to undertake regulation and supervision of the healthcare sector.
The health infrastructure must also be agile in order to future pandemics.
And telemedicine needs to be harnessed to the fullest to reach remote areas by investing in internet connectivity and health infrastructure.
Also, the emphasis on the National Health Mission must continue as it played a crucial role in mitigating inequity and gave access to the poorest to pre-natal and post-natal care and institutional deliveries have increased significantly.
UNI SRJ PS1659

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