India spends Rs. 3 per day on each Indian’s health. The amount India spends on public health per capita every year is Rs 1,112 that comes to Rs. 93 per month. India’s per capita spend on health is fourth lowest in the South East Asian Region.
The new data reveals that India spends 1.02 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on public health, which is lower than 1.45 percent spent by low-income countries. In a way, India’s public health expenditure is amongst the lowest in the world, even lower than most low-income countries.
Indonesia spends more than twice of what India spends on public health, and Sri Lanka spends about four times of it. Bhutan spends 2.5 percent of its GDP on public health, Thailand 2.9 percent, and Maldives 9.4 percent.
Low public-health spending is one of the reasons why patients in India turn to the private sector health care. According to IndiaSpend, Indians are the sixth biggest out-of-pocket (OOP) health spenders in the low-middle income group of 50 nations. Due to this, around 32-39 million Indians are pushed below the poverty line every year.
India has certain health targets: Reducing the infant mortality rate from 41 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015-16 to 28 by 2019 and maternal mortality ratio from 167 deaths per 100,000 births in 2013-14 to 100 by 2018-2020, and eliminating tuberculosis by 2025. But without a significant increase in its healthcare budget, these targets seem far from being achieved.
So, the claims made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding health and its budget, stand exposed.