According to the latest ‘Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index 2020’, report published by the international charity confederation Oxfam on
7 October 2020 , India ranked 155th in a survey consisting of 158 countries, showing that the country spends less than 4% of its budget on health.
The health spending index of India is so poor that even its neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh spend slightly more than 4% of their budget on health.
Oxfam Finds India Spending Poorly in Health Index
As per Oxfam’s latest 2020 Index report, of the 158 countries surveyed for checking whether they allocate 15% of their respective budgets on health as recommended, it was found that Nigeria, Bahrain and India were among the lowest rankers, in terms of health spending index.
India secured the 155th spot, sharing its position with Afghanistan, both of which allocated less than 4% of their budget on health.
Speaking of health spending indices, Oxham found that only 28 of these 158 surveyed countries were spending the recommended fraction of 15% of their budgets on health.
The report said, “India’s health budget is the fourth lowest in the world. Just half of its population have access to even the most essential health services”.
Pakistan and Bangladesh Spending better than India, on Health
The report also mentioned that while the trend of allocating a very small percentage of budget towards health is persistent across South Asian countries,
- Pakistan spent a little over 4% of its budget on health, while
- Nepal and Bangladesh spent 5%.
The report reads,
“This is particularly damaging when just half of India’s population (55%) has access to even the most essential services, and more than 70% of health spending is being met from household budgets.”
Also, as per the database from the World Bank, in 2017 India dedicated only 3.4% of its expenditure towards health.
Just to get an understanding of comparison, in the same year Japan spent 23.6% of the government budget on health.