Top Healthcare Highlights: How will budget 2016 impact India?

Arun Jaitley will be presenting the Union Budget 2016 on Monday
Arun Jaitley will be presenting the Union Budget 2016 on Monday Picture Courtesy: Financial Express.com

One of India’s biggest problems today is its increasing population and this makes the annual budget and its optimal allocation increasingly important to our nation. According to the Economic Survey of India, despite the increase in our nation’s GDP in past years, there has been no increase in the healthcare expenditure since 2008-2009. It is also important to note that India ranks the lowest among all the BRICS countries in terms of healthcare expenditure.

Especially when recent findings reveal facts like these:

  • About 42% of Indian women are underweight at the beginning of their pregnancy

  • India has a high neo-natal mortality rate

  • There has almost been a 50% increase in the number of cancer cases in India since 1990

  • Indians spend about $120 per capita on healthcare annually and the government’s contribution is just 1/4th of this amount

The recent Economic Survey of India states that “Lack of access to affordable and quality health and educational facilities leads to economic impoverishment and lowers potential human capabilities for many.” It adds, “Economic development needs to be inclusive by involving all sections of society deprived and marginalized groups.”

Let’s hope that this year’s budget is successful in addressing all of these issues along with dealing with its biggest challenges including immunization coverage, maternal health improvement and creating/employing skilled personnel at government healthcare institution.

(to be continued…)

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