STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Household Out-Of-Pocket expenses on health services push 55 million into poverty in India: WHO report

A significant share, almost two-thirds of OOP expenses, are for purchasing outpatient care, especially medicines.

Published: 05th April 2022 07:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th April 2022 10:51 AM   |  A+A-

Money, Rupee, notes, Rs, 500, 1000, 50, rupee notes

Image used for representational purpose. (Photo| Sindhu Chandrasekaran)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Household Out-Of-Pocket (OOP) expenses on health services, especially medicines, continue to push over 55 million people in India into poverty, with over 18 per cent of households incurring catastrophic levels of health expenditures annually, says a WHO report.

Despite India’s billing as the ‘pharmacy of the world,’ its population’s access to medicines is severely restricted as nearly 65 per cent of all health spending is in the form of OOP spending by households, two-thirds of it on drugs.

The report, released on March 30, said sustained underfunding of public sector facilities and the rapid growth of private sector providers contributed to rising OOP costs on health care. A significant share, almost two-thirds of OOP expenses, are for purchasing outpatient care, especially medicines.

Citing Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC) as an “excellent example” for developing an innovative centralised procurement system alongside a decentralised distribution mechanism, the report said a reasonable share of government spending goes for medicines procurement, primarily essential generic medicines, which evidence has shown has helped in controlling OOP expenditure on medicines.

States like Rajasthan,  Kerala have followed the model and have achieved similar gains, added the report, published by the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies based at WHO South-East Asia. 

However, the report said Tamil Nadu needs to expand its basket of medicines to cover non-communicable diseases and other chronic conditions.

Dr. Sakthivel Selvaraj, the lead writer of the report, said government spending must be accelerated to 2-2.5 per cent of GDP and minimum 15 per cent of government spending on healthcare must be spent on medicine procurement, especially generic medicines.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp