Rate of out-of-pocket expenditure in total health costs declines, says Health Ministry study

‘Reduction in OOPE going hand in hand with increased public spending in healthcare showcases the right trajectory towards achieving the milestones of universal health coverage’

Updated - April 25, 2023 11:51 pm IST

Published - April 25, 2023 10:31 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Nurses at Gandhi Hospital, Secunderabad inspect the stock of necessary medicines and equipment available for use. File.

Nurses at Gandhi Hospital, Secunderabad inspect the stock of necessary medicines and equipment available for use. File. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Health Ministry on Tuesday released the National Health Accounts Estimates for India (2019-20) and noted that the share of out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) in total health expenditure has declined from 62.6% in 2014-15 to 47.1% in 2019-20, while government health expenditure’s share in the country’s total GDP increased from 1.13% (2014-15) to 1.35% (2019-20).

“Share of government health expenditure in total health expenditure increased from 29% (2014-15) to 41.4% (2019-20) and per capita government spending on healthcare doubled,’’ the release issued by the Ministry said.

“Through National Health Accounts Estimates report we can see that indicators like out-of-pocket expenditure reduction are going hand in hand with increased public spending in healthcare, thus showcasing the right trajectory the country is taking towards achieving the milestones of universal health coverage,” Vinod K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog said at the launch of the estimates.

He added that the share of private health insurance is also going up. “This shows a sign of maturity for a country in terms of the insurance arena as those who can afford [health insurance] will afford it from private players too. This complements the government system of primary, secondary and tertiary care,” Dr. Paul said.

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