India’s public health spending is among the world’s lowest

India’s public health spending is among the world’s lowest; With a fifth of the world’s population; India’s public expenditure was 1.02% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015; India Spend reporting in June 2018. In 2017, terrorism claiming the lives of 766 Indians, or 0.007% of all deaths; while health reasons claiming 6.6 million Indians; or 90% of all deaths.

In 2017, the last year for which comparable data are available; India’s spending on defence was double its health expenditure; according to the 2017-18 budget; Poor investment in health and education directly impacts the country’s productivity and economic growth. There were 9.9 million deaths in India in 2017; with a death rate of 717.79 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the 2018 Global Burden of Disease (GBD), a global estimate of morbidity and mortality publishing by the University of Washington.

India’s public health

But communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutritious diseases caused 26.6% of all deaths in India, and non-communicable diseases caused 63.4% of all deaths; while injuries accounted for 9.8%.Deaths by conflict and terrorism fall under the interpersonal violence category; accounting for 0.007% of all deaths; or 766, according to GBD data.

But terrorism claiming fewer lives according to another database; there were 178 terror incidents reporting nationwide in 2017, killing 77 and injuring 295; according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal. Deaths due to diabetes (254,500), suicides (210,800), infectious diseases (2 million) and non-communicable diseases (6.2 million) put together are 8,000 times the deaths causing by terrorism (766).

Equivalent proportion of GDP

While India’s public-health spending was estimating to be 1.4% of GDP in 2017-18; but the equivalent proportion of GDP spending on health in the Maldives is 9.4%, in Sri Lanka 1.6%, in Bhutan 2.5% and in Thailand 2.9%.India is the fifth largest defence spender in the world. The defence budget in 2017-18 was Rs 4.31 lakh crore ($ 72.1 billion, using 2017 rates), or 2.5% of GDP, as per Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, a think-tank. This is double the health budget that year; according to our analysis.

While India’s health budget is rising in 2018 it was double of what it was in 2010 as India Spend reporting in January 2019, it is still inadequate; considering that India is home to a third of the world’s stunting children; has the highest number of tuberculosis patients and reporting among the world’s highest out of pocket expenditure; an indicator of public healthcare failures.The National Health Policy of 2017 talking about increasing public health spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2025; but India has not yet met the 2010 target of 2% of GDP, India Spend reporting in April 2017.