Per capita spending on health rises but share in GDP remains constant, says Health Accounts Survey

In Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it is only 0.9 per cent. Karnataka is the lowest at 0.7 per cent.

Published: 25th April 2023 10:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2023 10:47 PM   |  A+A-


Image used for representational purpose only. (File | EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The per capita spending on health has gone up in India while the share of healthcare in the country's GDP has remained constant in the last three years after falling consistently, says the latest report of the National Health Accounts for India 2019-20.

The Total Health Expenditure at current prices stood at Rs 4863 in 2019-20, the highest since 2013-14. Compared to 2018-19, it was a jump of Rs 393.

Health spending was 3.3 per cent of the GDP in 2019, which remained unchanged from 2017-18 after falling from four per cent in 2013-14 onwards. 

The government expenditure on health has hovered around 40 per cent in the last three years, rising from 28.6 per cent in 2013-14, 29 per cent in 14-15 and 30.6 per cent in 15-16, the report which was released on Tuesday by Dr Vinod K. Paul, Member (Health) of NITI Aayog, said.

At the same time, the out-of-pocket expenditure has been steadily falling from 64.2 per cent in 2013-14 to 47.1 per cent in 2019-20.

Among the healthcare providers, expenditure was highest by the private general hospitals at Rs 168514 crores which was 28.39 per cent of the total spending. The government hospitals contributed Rs 97194 crores - 16.37 per cent of the expenditure. 

Among the states, the smaller states of the northeast have performed better regarding the health share in the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). In all the Northeastern states, health has over two per cent share in GSDP, barring Tripura and Sikkim. 

In all the southern states except Kerala, the healthcare share is less than one per cent of the GDP.

In Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it is only 0.9 per cent. Karnataka is the lowest at 0.7 per cent.

Kerala is the only southern state bucking the trend at 1.1 per cent. 

In the country comparison of out-of-pocket expenditure per capita in PP, India stands at 77 in the rankings that Kiribati tops.

India is in the company of Cameron, Jamaica, Indonesia, Nigeria, Belize, and Nepal. Singapore, the US, Cyprus, Malta and Switzerland are at the bottom end.

Releasing the report,  Dr Paul said, “Through National Health Accounts Estimates report we can see that indicators like Out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) reduction are going hand in hand with increased public spending in healthcare. Thus, showcasing the right trajectory the country is taking towards achieving milestones of Universal Health Coverage.”

He said the government is ensuring that healthcare services that are required, be made readily available and accessible to the citizens without financial hardships.

The share of Out-of-Pocket Expenditure (OOPE) in total Health Expenditure (THE) declined from 62.6% to 47.1%.

“The continuous decline in the OOPE in the overall health spending shows progress towards ensuring financial protection and Universal Health Coverage for citizens,” he added.

Officials said another positive trend in the country’s health financing space is the increase in Social Security Expenditure (SSE) on healthcare.

This increase in social security has a direct impact on reducing out-of-pocket payments.  “A robust social security mechanism ensures that individuals will not face financial hardship and the risk of poverty as a consequence of accessing essential healthcare services,” the report said.


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