Health Ministry has recently released some data after almost a decade. The data shows that Indians spent eight times more health expenditure on private hospitals and twice as much on transporting patients compared to costs in government hospitals.
These figures are according to the National Health Accounts (NHA) Estimates for the financial year 2013-14.
Private vs. Public Hospitals:
The NHA monitors the flow of resources in the country’s health system and provides details of health finances. The estimates say:
- Households spent Rs. 64,628 crore on private hospitals compared to just Rs. 8,193 crore on government hospitals.
- A total of Rs. 18,149 crore was spent on patient transportation services, like the use of an ambulance.
- Considering all revenue sources, including government funding, health expenditure on private hospitals — Rs. 88,552 crore — was double that on government hospitals — Rs. 41,797 crore.
Health Expenditure as a Percentage of GDP:
- India spent a total of Rs. 4.5 lakh crore on healthcare in 2013-14 at 4% of the GDP, of which Rs. 3.06 lakh crore came from households.
- Public spending is appallingly low, constituting around 29% of the total health expenditure — 1% of GDP.
- There has been a marginal improvement from 2004-05 when the share of government spending was just 22%.
- Preventive care gets just 9.6% of the total money that flows in India’s healthcare system.
- The current expense on protective care is estimated at Rs 40,627 crore. All the government-funded national health programmes, for instance, the National Disease Control Programmes are enclosed under this group.
Out-Of-Pocket (OOP) Expenditure:
- The money individuals pay on their own rather than being covered by insurance or health benefits – the out of pocket expenditure on healthcare by the Indians has been estimated to be around Rs. 2.9 lakh crore or 69% of Total Health Expenditure (THE) in the country.
- This is alarmingly high and makes India stand among the highest in this metric worldwide.
- The OOP share as a percentage of Current Health Expenditure (CHE) has, however, decreased from 69.4% in 2004-05 to 64.2% in 2013-14.
- The CHE comprises 93%, the rest 7% going to Capital Expenditure.
Awful Public Spending:
Half of all the domestic money, that is spent as health expenditure is around Rs. 1.5 lakh crore which goes to pharmacies. This includes chemists, neighbouring and independent pharmacies.
From a Commoners View:
These above-written facts are of lots of figures, serious studies, detailed issues and grave matters. Those are not easy to understand for all. But what we all understand is the condition of the health sector in India, we face in our own life.
It is nothing but the miserable condition of most of the govt. health centres, medical colleges and hospitals.
People having minimum economic prosperity don’t want to admit their near and dear ones in govt. hospitals. In most of the govt. hospitals patients have to share their bed with another patient.
Even such cases are also in news that accident patient shares the bed with dengue patient. Isn’t it dreadful?
But this is the situation of our govt. health sector. People who have no option rather than cheaper govt. hospitals admit their patients there.
It has become our primary concept that govt. hospitals are of no worth. Until this idea changes, there is no possibility for Indian health sector to grow healthy. Govt. need to make people believe on govt. hospitals depend on govt. hospitals more than private ones.