Expenditure On Health Increased 26 Per Cent In FY23: Economic Survey
The shares of expenditure on health in the total expenditure on social services, has increased from 21 per cent in FY19 to 26 per cent in FY23 underscoring the rising importance of public healthcare and social security in ensuring universal health coverage, union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday.
While presenting the Economic Survey, she said the National Health Account (NHA) estimates for FY19 shows that there has been an increase in the share of Government Health Expenditure (GHE) in the total GDP from 1.2 per cent in FY14 to 1.3 per cent in FY19.
Additionally, the share of GHE in Total Health Expenditure (THE) has also increased over time, standing at 40.6 per cent in FY19, substantially higher than 28.6 per cent in FY14.
The Minister said that the government is focusing on primary healthcare expenditure which has increased from 51.1 per cent in FY14 to 55.2 per cent in FY19. “This not only ensures quality services at the grassroots level but also reduces the chances of ailments requiring secondary or tertiary healthcare services,” she added.
According to the Economic Survey, the social security expenditure on health, which includes the social health insurance programme, government-financed health insurance schemes, and medical reimbursements made to government employees, has increased from 6 per cent in FY14 to 9.6 per cent in FY19. Due to several such steps, Out of-Pocket Expenditure (OOPE) as a percentage of THE has declined substantially from 64.2 per cent in FY14 to 48.2 per cent in FY19.
Sitharaman also highlighted the recent health sector reforms that have led to a strengthened health infrastructure in the public sector. “Under the Ayushman Bharat programme, 1.5 lakh Health & Wellness Centres (HWCs) have been made operational before 31st December, 2022. These deliver comprehensive Primary Healthcare services closer to the communities,” she said.
Divulging further she underlined the notable enhancement in human resources which are the core building blocks of the health system, including physicians, nursing professionals, pharmacists, midwives, dentists, allied health professionals, community health workers, social health workers and other health care providers, as well as health management and support personnel.
Speaking about the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri – Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) Scheme, the minister said that as many as 21.9 crore beneficiaries have been verified under the scheme including three crore beneficiaries verified using State IT systems as on January 4, 2023.
The Pre-budget Survey observes that AB-PMJAY is the world’s largest health insurance scheme that aims to minimise the Out of Pocket Expenditure (OOPE) of the target beneficiaries arising due to expenditure on healthcare.
Over two years since the pandemic was declared, the Government has taken various fiscal and social measures to balance the revival of the economy and deal with increasing caseloads.
As Economic Survey was tabled in the House, the minister informed that a three-tier arrangement of dedicated Covid-19 health facilities in the country was implemented to reduce the risk of cross-infection to non-Covid patients and to make provision for non-Covid essential health services.
Elaborating on the criticality of Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) plants, the Economic Survey states that PSA plants are being established in hospitals, especially in far-flung areas enabling the hospitals to become self-sufficient in the generation of oxygen for their needs and, thereby, reducing the burden on the medical oxygen supply grid across the country.
The Economic Survey 2022-23 mentions that as on January 6, 2023, India has been able to administer more than 220 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses across the country. 97 per cent of eligible beneficiaries have already received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine and around 90 per cent of eligible beneficiaries have received both the doses.