Bangalore: India has the lowest health spending as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) among BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). However, the overall number seems a little better in the country because of the contribution from the private sector. The government has confessed to low health allocation, which is one of the major reasons for high infant and maternal mortality rates in the country, as reported by TNN.
It was noted that the expenditure in Brazil and South Africa is almost close to the average in numerous developed countries like Norway, Australia, and the UK. However, the U.S. has a health spending estimated at 17.6 percent of GDP.
India’s health spending would have been even grimmer if it wasn’t for the private sector. The private sector’s spending in the nation is more than double the government’s spending. As per experts the absence of government healthcare provokes people to spend money.Latest UN figures have also revealed that India accounts for one-third of deaths of pregnant women, mainly because of complications such as severe bleeding after childbirth, high blood pressure during pregnancy, infections and unsafe abortion.
Further, numerous flagship programmes like Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojna (IGMSY), Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) focus on the same beneficiaries, making it an overlap of government schemes.
For example, JSY intends to bring down the maternal mortality rate by promoting institutional deliveries, while JSSK entitles all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions to no-expenses delivery and IGMSY is a provisional cash transfer scheme for pregnant women.
The survey said "A threshold level could also be fixed for the schemes as a critical minimum investment or outlay is needed for any programme to be successful," as reported by TNN.
The survey also mentioned the suggestion made by the committee on 'restructuring of centrally sponsored schemes' and said that such schemes should have a minimum plan expenditure of Rs 10,000 crore over the five year plan.