New Delhi, September 12
Household health expenditure continues to be high in India, with the government spending Rs 1,815 per capita on health in 2018-19 as against Rs 2,155 out-of-pocket spending.
The latest National Health Accounts 2018-19 finalised today reveal that public health expenditure as a percentage of GDP fell from 1.35 per cent in 2017-18 to 1.28 per cent. The National Health Policy 2017 envisages government spend on health at 2.5 per cent by 2025.
While the government expenditure as a share of total health expenditure in 2018-19 stood at 40.6 per cent, the corresponding share of out-of-pocket expenditure was higher at 48.2 per cent — nearly half of all health spending.
The latest National Health Accounts state that total health expenditure (THE) in 2018-19 was Rs 5,96,440 crore, of which government spending was Rs 2,42,219 crore which is 40.61 per cent of THE, 1.28 per cent of the GDP and Rs 1,815 per capita. This amounts to 4.81 per cent of the General Government Expenditure in 2018-19.
On the upside, the latest estimates mirror consistently declining trends in out-of-pocket expenditure as a share of total health expenditure — from 64.2 per cent in 2013 to 48.2 per cent in 2018.
Household out-of-pocket expenditure on health, however, continues to dominate. It stood at Rs 2,87,573 crore in 2018, which is 48.21 per cent of THE, 1.52 pc of the GDP and Rs 2,155 per capita.
Private health insurance expenditure forms a meagre Rs 39,201 crore — 6.57 per cent of the total health spending and has been stagnating for years.
Atul Kotwal, author of the report, said private insurance firms needed to relax rigid conditions and reduce inequities.
Pvt hospitals dominate health services
Over 28.69% (Rs 1.55,013 cr) of health expenditure was in private hospitals as against 17.34% (Rs 93,689 crore) in govt hospitals.
- 34.55% Inpatient curative care
- 18.87% Prescribed medicines
- 18.86% Outpatient curative care
- 4.17% Lab services
- 3.49% Over-the-counter medicines
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