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5) One of the central problems in India’s healthcare system has been the low levels of public spending on health. Examine why public spending on health remains low despite poor health indicators. Discuss the issues caused by low health spending and what needs to be done?(250 words)

Topic– Part of static series under the heading – “Issues related to health”

5) One of the central problems in India’s healthcare system has been the low levels of public spending on health. Examine why public spending on health remains low despite poor health indicators. Discuss the issues caused by low health spending and what needs to be done?(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the reasons why public spending on health is low. Thereafter we have to discuss the impact of low spending on healthcare and ways through which the situation can be improved.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that NHP 2017 has set the target of 2.5% of GDP being spent on healthcare by 2025. We have consistently fallen short of targets.

Body

  • Discuss the reasons behind low spending on health care. For instance you can mention Lack of funds with Govt – low tax base – only 4% ppl pay taxes, Lack of political will as impact of such spending will be reaped in the long run, centre – state fiscal coordination is low – regarding who should spend how much etc
  • Discuss why health spending needs to be increased – poor health infrastructure, high level of Out of pocket expenditure on healthcare
  • Highlight that the push currently has been on insurance model through public private coordination. Examine what more needs to be done to improve as spending on healthcare

Conclusion – Emphasize on the need for higher spending on healthcare and discuss way forward.