Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has its work cut out if it wants to transform the country’s health system and provide a universal health insurance programme.
India has just 0.7 doctors per 1,000 people, and 80 percent of this workforce is in urban areas serving 30 percent of the population, according to industry lobby group NATHEALTH.
Less than 25 percent of the population has access to any form of health insurance. And India’s public and private expenditure on health is around 4 percent of its GDP, the lowest among BRICS countries.
India is seeing a rise in lifestyle diseases and is on its way to become the world’s diabetes capital with more than 60 million diabetics, a number that the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI) estimates will cross 85 million in 2030, or nearly 8 percent of the population today.
India Insight spoke to stakeholders in the healthcare sector about their wishlist for the budget. Edited excerpts: