NEW DELHI: India’s per capita expenditure on health spends at a dismal $ 63, less than that in neighbouring Bhutan and Sri Lanka, says the World Health Statistics report, 2018 released by the WHO on Thursday night.
The report also says that the life expectancy in India is just 59.3 years which is very low as compared to several other developing countries.
India’s per capita health expenditure per is among the lowest for developing countries with China reporting a per capita spending of $ 426, Thailand $ 217, Malaysia $ 386, Philippines $ 127, Sri Lanka $ 118 and Indonesia $ 112.
Among the SAARC countries, Pakistan has a per person health expenditure lower than India’s at $ 38 while Bhutan has a better spending of $ 91.
In comparison, developed countries have much better health expenditure figures with the USA reporting $ 9,536, UK $ 4,356 and Germany spending $ 4,592 per capita per year.
The report also says that India's health spending is a measly 3.9 per cent of GDP. Of this, public spending is just 1.15 per cent, which the government aims to raise to 2.5 per cent by 2025.
A renowned health journal had recently panned India for its poor spending on health.
“We are disappointed by the lack of ambition of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi’s Government to invest only 2·5 % of its GDP into health care by 2025, when the global average for countries is about 6 %,” Lancet had written in its editorial.
In its new health policy released in March last year, the Centre had said it that it will allocate two-thirds of its budgetary resources to primary health, convert primary health centres into “wellness centres” with a focus on prevention and health promotion, and deploy more doctors and paramedics in public hospitals facing shortages.
The policy had also set several quantitative goals, including increasing India’s life expectancy at birth from to 70 years by 2025 and reducing premature mortality from cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes by 25 per cent by 2025.