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How to go right about Indian health expediture

In India, about 5% of its GDP is spent on health.  Data show that lower-middle-income countries, India s peers spend around 4.5% of its GDP on health, middle-income countries close to 6%  and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries spend about 8-11%. Thus, we can see that India s spending, though low, is not unusually so. Still, it ranks poorly at 143 out of 188 countries while ranking  the performance of a country on the health-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators.

In an  $8 trillion economy  in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) and its large population, allocation  of 5%  to health translates to only $267 per individual which is much lower than the OECD average of $4,698. Yet, at 91, 112, and 141, countries like Indonesia, Thailand, and Ghana with their lower per capita health expenditures are ranked better on the SDG Index. Evidently, there are two  important differences between India and these countries - the level of government control of the health system and the extent of pooling of health expenditures. India has among the lowest pooled expenditure for health care, which works against providing for financial protection against catastrophic health shocks. While developed economies such as Switzerland, Germany,  Japan and South Korea may not have the government as a health care provider, they all have substantial degree of direct government control on the offered services like referral pathways,  pricing of health services, and treatment protocols.

Thus, a great shift is required in augmenting government control over both  financing and provision of health to provide equitable health outcomes and quality health care to all of its people.

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