Budgeting for health

Will the Union Budget on July 5 see the Centre make a greater commitment to healthcare in the country? Governments, in the past, have expressed their intent to increase spending on healthcare to 2.5 per cent of GDP.

This Government too, in its earlier term, committed to upping health spends to 2.5 per cent by 2025. Will it act on its promise and increase spends from the present less than 1 per cent? Other industries involved in delivering healthcare, such as pharmaceuticals and hospitals, also look to the Government every year for meaningful measures to encourage them to innovate and come up with better models tailored to Indian citizens’ needs — but with little luck.

With the Ayushman Bharat scheme and the promise for wellness centres across the country taking much of the Government’s attention, public health workers will be watching how health challenges plaguing the country are addressed.