India Lags Behind China, Sri Lanka in Global Healthcare Index

The vicious cycle of severe fragmentation is the reason for low performance of Indian healthcare, in comparison to other countries in Asia and elsewhere, a top official has said.

In his address at the inaugural function of the 24th edition of IIHMR University's annual event 'Pradanya' with the theme "Future of Healthcare: Globalization, Innovations and You", Special Secretary, NITI Aayog, Yaduvendra Mathur said:

“The time has come to unify and transform the healthcare system to achieve optimum outcomes in terms of public health and Sustainable Development Goals.”

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"India's healthcare system lags much behind other nations. India figures at number 145 in global healthcare, compared to 92 for China, 71 for Sri Lanka, 138 for Indonesia and 111 for Egypt. The Out of Pocket (OOP) expenditure for India is high at 63 per cent, compared to just 36 per cent for China and 37 per cent for Indonesia.

"Such sub-par performance of Indian healthcare is due to its deeply fragmented nature. This fragmentation needs to be addressed through better risk profiling/insurance of patients, strategic purchase of medicines and medical supplies by government and care givers, better organization of healthcare delivery, and creating a digital health landscape.

Yaduvendra Mathur, Special Secretary, NITI Aayog“Ayushman Bharat and initiatives like National Medical Commission Act and National Digital Health Blueprint have created a strong foundation for such integration.”

The future health system of India needs five focus areas:

  1. Deliver on the unfinished public health agenda
  2. Shift health financing away from out-of-pocket spend to larger insurers
  3. Integrate service delivery horizontally and vertically
  4. Empower citizens to become better buyers of health
  5. Harness the power of digital health, Mathur suggested

In his address, IIHMR University Chairman, Dr S.D. Gupta said: "Future healthcare is intrinsically linked with globalisation and technological innovations. We need to visualise what the scenario is going to be in India in the next 30 to 40 years."

Also Read: WHO Recognizes the Progress of the Ayushman Bharat Programme

The three-day programme, which started Monday, 25 November, saw over 35 health experts from India and abroad attending the technical sessions and panel discussions.

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