Poor budget allocation to health sector aligns with Modi government’s concern over corporatization
We have faced a severe health crisis over the past two years due to the COVID pandemic which has claimed very precious lives even as it has pushed millions into unemployment, adding to already existing poverty.
Large segments of the population have been unable to obtain required treatment for COVID due to lack of preparedness on the part of the government. They could not go to private hospitals because of the exorbitant costs.
Meanwhile, patients with other diseases, both communicable and non-communicable, have also suffered. While the well-to-do section of society was able to seek treatment, the low-income group, which largely depends on the state for its health needs, was deprived of treatment for diseases such as tuberculosis, dengue fever, malaria, diarrhea and even the vaccination of children. .
The WHO has repeatedly stressed that to meet health needs, it is important that public health expenditure amounts to 5% of GDP. But unfortunately, public health spending in our country has been hovering around 1.1% for several years.
According to Oxfam’s “Commitment to Reduce Inequality Report 2020”, India ranks 154th in health spending, 5th from bottom. It was therefore expected that the government would be serious about budget allocation for health. But it was not to be.