Investing in Health | Radical Changes required in Health care

The High Level Expert Group of the Planning Commission on Universal Health Coverage for India has laid out a clear road map: it is to provide access to affordable, accountable, and appropriate health services for all citizens in a meaningful time frame. Free India adopted the goal of preventive and curative care for all, as recommended by the Bhore Committee in 1946. But it faltered and failed to raise public spending. What the expert group chaired by Dr. Srinath Reddy proposes is far-going reform in several areas. On funding, it puts the onus on the government to mobilize the resources necessary, relying mainly on general taxation; complimentary funds would come in the form of mandatory deductions for health care from salaried individuals and tax payers .Country level policies oriented towards equity and free, universal access to health care favour such a financial model.


This is also logical, considering that health should be viewed as a public and merit good available to the entire population. India’s

approach to public spending on health needs radical change. It has a pathetic record of devoting a mere 1.2 per cent of GDP as public expenditure. To scale up care, that must be raised to at least 2.5 per cent by the end of the 12th Plan, and 3 per cent in the subsequent 5 years. This, the expert group estimates, can bring about a dramatic reduction in out-of-pocket spending from 67 per cent of total health expenditures today to 47 percent by 2017 and 33 percent by 2022

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