The government is spending Rs 1,753 per capita per year on health, the National Health Accounts Estimates 2017-18 released on Monday stated.
This represents an increase of 68 per cent over the per capita government spending of Rs 1,042 on health in 2013-14. Still, India fares poorly in comparison to the rest of the world, with the per capita government spending on health pegged at nearly Rs 4 lakh in the US, Rs 2.65 lakh in the UK and Rs 64,000 in the Russian Federation.
In a recent reply to a Parliament question, the Health Ministry had said the per capita domestic general government health expenditure is $5,356 in the US; $3,631 in the UK; $885 in the Russian Federation; $4,737 in Germany; $3,852 in France and $2,678 in Italy.
Moving in the right direction
The nature of the increase in the government’s health sector spending is moving in the right direction as more emphasis has been given to the primary healthcare. The share of the primary healthcare in current government health expenditure has increased from 51.1% in 2013-14 to 54.7% in 2017-18. —National Health Accounts Estimates
The National Health Accounts also show that per capita out-of-pocket expenditure on health has reduced marginally from Rs 2,336 to Rs 2,097 over four years.
“The nature of the increase in the government’s health sector is moving in the right direction as more emphasis has been given to the primary healthcare. The share of the primary healthcare in current government health expenditure has increased from 51.1 per cent in 2013-14 to 54.7 per cent in 2017-18,” the accounts say.
The report adds the share of government’s health expenditure in total GDP of the country has increased from 1.15 per cent (2013-14) to 1.35 per cent (2017-18). It, however, remains quite low.
The share of government health expenditure in total health expenditure has, meanwhile, increased to 40.8 per cent (2017-18) from 28.6 per cent (2013-14).
“The per capita out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) declined from Rs 2,336 to Rs 2,097 from 2013-14 to 2017-18,” the report states. This is a reduction of 10 per cent in four years.
Out of-pocket expenditure as a share of total health expenditure has also reduced to 48.8 per cent in 2017-18 from 64.2 per cent in 2013-14.
Primary and secondary care accounts for more than 80 per cent of the current government health expenditure and there has been an increase in the share of primary and secondary care in case of government health expenditure.
“In case of the private sector, the share of tertiary care has increased, but primary and secondary care shows a declining trend. The share of primary and secondary care increased from 75 per cent to 86 per cent between 2016-17 and 2017-18. In the private sector, the share of primary and secondary care declined from 84 per cent to 74 per cent,” the estimates state.
Rs1,753 per capita spending on health, up from Rs1,042 in ’14 1.35% share of health expenditure in GDP; up from 1.15% (2013-14) 10% downfall in out-of-pocket spending in four years 80% of govt health expenditure is on primary, secondary care