Currently India spends about 1.2 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on healthcare and there are expectations that this number will grow significantly in the current budget. (Most industry bodies have recommended raising healthcare spends to between 2.5% and 3.5% of the GDP). Comparatively, the United States spends around 16.9% of its GDP on healthcare. On average, the OECD (The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries are estimated to have spent 8.8% of their GDPs on health care in 2018, a figure unchanged since 2013. Despite the relatively high spends, the healthcare infrastructure in these countries also came under stress during the pandemic. The biggest learning from the experience of other countries is that we need to re-consider the way we structure our healthcare spends, while also increasing the overall spends.
The current budget 2022-23 has allocated ₹86,200.65 crore for health care in 2022-23, which is about 16.59% more than the previous year’s estimates of ₹73,931.77 crore. The revised estimate for the sector in 2021-22 is ₹86,000.65 crore.
Below are some of the key areas that will receive a boost due to the budget
- The open digital platform will go a long way in optimising the usage of our healthcare infrastructure. Already the goverment has collected recommendations on the facilities and capability registry. This will go a long way in helping us utilise and optimise existing resources. Also such an open platform will push for a growth in the start-up and tech ecosystem fostering innovation and collaboration.
- Having said that training remains an important gap specially when it comes to community health workers and hopefully the investments in those areas will kickstart soon.
- On the mental health system proposed, telemedicine if integrated with longtudinal records can really help address our current mental health needs. It will need integration with medication management system and patient identification number or health id to make it more effective.
- The healthcare aspect of the Drone-as-a-Service will be the big impact on seamless and more efficient distribution of essential life-saving drugs
Having said these the expectations were much higher but it yet to see how this increase would impact the quality of care in healthcare.