India Spends Mere 1.29% Of GDP On Health, Public Hospitals Running Without Doctors
The Manmohan Singh government had set a target to increase health spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2017. But statistics show that this goal was forgotten after the Modi government came to power in 2014. That is, the central government is not spending as much money on health services as the target was.
The health budget in 2014-15 was Rs 31,536 crore, which increased to Rs 34,113 crore in 2015-16. Next, it reached Rs 38,994 crore in 2016-17, Rs 53,113 crore in 2017-18, Rs 54,684 crore in 2018-19 and in 2019-20, the health budget was at Rs 64,331 crore. Rs 67,111 crore has been allocated for health in the current financial year. Simply put, on the health of every Indian, where the government used to spend an average of Rs 1,008 in the financial year 2015, it has increased to just Rs 1,944 in 2020, which is very low. Despite the increase in the budget every year, the health budget has remained less than 1.29 per cent of GDP, while other developing and developed countries of the world spend much more money on the health of their citizens as compared to India. For example, in 2018, China was spending 2.9 per cent of its GDP and Brazil 3.9 per cent on health services.
For India spends less on health, there is a severe shortage of doctors, nurses, hospitals in the country, especially in rural areas. A 2019 report by the Union Ministry of Health reveals that community health centres in rural areas are facing a severe shortage of doctors. According to statistics, there are a total of 5,335 rural community health centres in the country but there is a huge shortage of doctors and health workers at these centres. 21,340 doctors were supposed to be deployed at these centres but only 3,881 doctors are working. This means that many community health centres across the country don't even have a single doctor. Where there are, there is only a few. According to a recent survey, 57 per cent people in the country go to private hospitals instead of government hospitals because there is neither staff nor good care. From all these statistics, it is clear that the government medical sector of India is not ready to fight any pandemic. And it is no secret that the country's poorest man cannot afford treatment at expensive private nursing homes.