Salem Radio Network News Sunday, November 28, 2021

Health

Factbox-State of play of India’s healthcare sector exposed by COVID-19

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced India to urgently try and revitalise its health infrastructure, especially after a record rise in infections and deaths exposed years of neglect.

Here are some facts and figures on health in India, based on data from the government, the World Bank and research reports.

MONEY

* Public and private healthcare spending in India is estimated to be about 3.5% of GDP, one of the lowest in the world. The corresponding figure for the United States is about 17% and about 10% for India’s fellow developing country Brazil.

* The federal government’s public health spending ranges from 1% to 1.5%, though Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has vowed to lift it to 2.5% by 2024/25. Health experts want it to go to 3%.

* India spends about $75 per capita on healthcare, compared with about $800 by Brazil and about $11,000 by the United States.

* More than 60% of all healthcare spending in India is out of pocket https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.XPD.OOPC.CH.ZS?most_recent_value_desc=true, much higher than Brazil’s about 27% and about 11% for the United States.

INFRASTRUCTURE, PERSONNEL, PLEDGES

* India has just about one hospital bed per 1,000 people. The corresponding number for Brazil is more than two and nearly three for the United States.

* India has only about one doctor per 1,000 people, compared with more than two for both Brazil and the United States.

* Prime Minister Narendra Modi says India will produced more doctors in the next decade or so than it did in the first seven decades of the country’s independence in 1947.

* The government has pledged to build many new hospitals and upgrade existing ones https://www.indiabudget.gov.in/doc/budget_speech.pdf in the next few years with the investment of around $9 billion. The poor eastern state of Bihar plans to build by next year some 1,600 new hospitals at the cost of about $500 million.

* Modi’s government, states and government-run companies have provided funds for hospitals so that all of India’s nearly 750 districts have at least one oxygen-generation plant. Some 4,000 of them have been commissioned in recent months.

(Reporting by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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