HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, India

India's budget allocation for healthcare rises 13.6% to US$8.9b in 2019

The government has been laying out schemes to support lower classes’ healthcare spending.

The Indian government raised their 2019 healthcare spending by 13.6% YoY to US$8.9b from US$7.45b in 2018.

According to Fitch Solutions, this is driven by candidates prioritising the healthcare sector to entice voters. The Ministry of Health received boosts to spending in the last five budgets. India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley plans to launch the National Health Protection Scheme that aims to cover healthcare expenses of over 500 million beneficiaries.

Also read: Universal healthcare fails India's poorest patients: report

Furthermore, the union finance minister laid out the Vision 2030 plan. It looks to form a distress-free, functional and comprehensive healthcare and wellness system by 2030.

Despite all these plans, Fitch warned that upside potential for the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector will remain limited.

“Even if the government can provide insurance to millions of citizens, the country lacks the healthcare infrastructure to provide even the most basic services for its population,” Fitch Solutions stated.

Also read: India's private hospitals cry foul over excessively low Modicare rates

Fitch noted that the country is still facing issues such as healthcare provider shortages, poor infrastructure and transport as well as lack of equipment, resources and drugs.

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