Public Heath Covid-19: Importance on spending on Public Health
The Covid-19 pandemic crisis is a reminder of the importance of investing in the healthcare sector for any country. Mint examines how India has fared on this front and what it can do to raise its health expenditure as a percent of its gross domestic product (GDP).
How much does India spend on Public health care?
The total per capita government spending on healthcare has nearly doubled from ₹1,008 per person in FY15 to ₹1,944 in FY20, but is still low. The total expenditure by the Centre and states for FY20 was ₹2.6 trillion, or 1.29% of GDP, including establishment expenditure comprising salaries, gross budgetary support to various institutions and hospitals and transfers to states under centrally sponsored schemes such as Ayushman Bharat. Of the total public expenditure, the Centre’s share is 25%. Over the last five years, the total public expenditure on health has risen at 15% CAGR, much of this due to pay hikes.
Where does India figure vis-à-vis others?
India’s total healthcare spending (out-of-pocket and public), at 3.6% of GDP, as per OECD, is way lower than that of other countries. The average for OECD countries in 2018 was 8.8% of GDP. Developed nations—the US (16.9%), Germany (11.2%), France (11.2%) and Japan (10.9%)—spend even more. India spends the least among BRICS countries: Brazil spends the most (9.2%), followed by South Africa (8.1%), Russia (5.3%), China (5%). With public healthcare infrastructure stretched, out-of-pocket expenditure in urban centres is high in India. The Centre spends less as public health and sanitation are on the State list.
Why is Public Health so important?
Studying Public Health at BCU equips you with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to carry out important public health work. But why is Public Health so import? Student, Naima shares her top 10 reasons why it’s important and so rewarding to be part of.
1. Public Health studies plays a major role in fighting off the biggest killers of humans. Public Health professionals, who have either studied a Public Health degree or Health Studies related course, are constantly battling against diabetes, cancer, heart disease and dementia to maintain the health and well-being of the population.
2. A fundamental quality of Public Health is its preventative nature. Prevention is far more effective and far less expensive than cure.
3. Public Health is important due to aiding and prolonging life. Through the prevention of health issues, individuals can spend more of their years in good health.
4. Public Health helps detect health issues as early as possible and responds appropriately to avoid the development of disease.
5. It is diverse and takes into account the health of the whole population, rather than focusing on health at an individual level.
6. Public Health is important as it ensures everyone is aware of health hazards through educational programmes, campaigns and through influencing government policies.
7. It is important because you are constantly building new skills and expanding as a person. This is due to the nature of the work promoting growth through day to day activities and taking part in major projects and campaigns.
8. Public Health is important because you are constantly striving to close the inequality gap between people and encourage equal opportunities for children, all ethnicities and genders.
9. Health is a human right and as a Public Health professional you are ensuring no one is disadvantaged regardless of their socio-economic background.
10. Public Health is important because you become the voice for individuals who have no voice and simply put, your influence on the improvement of someone’s health can be a great satisfaction.
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