World Bank’s loan to support India’s Health sector

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    In News

    • Recently the Government of India and World Bank signed two complimentary loans worth $1 billion to support and enhance India’s healthcare infrastructure.

    About

    • The World Bank is lending two complementary loans of $500 million to help India with preparedness for future pandemics as well as to strengthen its health infrastructure.
    • The $500-million Public Health Systems for Pandemic Preparedness Program (PHSPP) will support efforts to prepare India’s surveillance system to detect and report epidemics of concern
    • Another $500 million Enhanced Health Service Delivery Program (EHSDP) will support government’s efforts to strengthen service delivery through a redesigned primary healthcare model,
    • Both these loans utilise the Program-for-Results financing instrument that focuses on achievement of results rather than inputs. 
    • Through these loans, the bank will support India’s flagship Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) and  health service delivery in seven States of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.

    India’s Health Sector :

    • India’s health care system consists of both public and private components:
      • The government healthcare system, concentrates on establishing primary healthcare centers (PHCs) in rural areas while maintaining a small number of secondary and tertiary care facilities in major cities.
      • Majority of secondary, tertiary, and quaternary care facilities are run by the private sector, with a focus on metropolises and tier-I and tier-II cities.
      • In the Economic Survey of 2022, India’s public expenditure on healthcare stood at 2.1% of GDP in 2021-22 against 1.8% in 2020-21 and 1.3% in 2019-20.

    Challenges :

    • Unequal distribution: India’s health care system is concentrated in urban areas with very little presence in the rural areas where majority of the population lives.
    • Low Budget Spending: India’s public expenditure on healthcare is only 2.1% of GDP in 2021-22 while Japan, Canada and France spend about 10% of their GDP on public healthcare.
    • Lack of Medical Research: In India, R&D and cutting-edge technology-led new projects receive little attention.
    • Low doctor-patient ratio: The doctor patient ratio in india is about 1:1500 much higher than the WHO norm of one doctor for every 1,000 people.

    Initiatives :

    • Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) : it aims to strengthen India’s health infrastructure and improve the country’s primary, secondary and tertiary care services.
    • Ayushman Bharat : Follows a two- pronged approach by
      • Creation of health and wellness centres to bring health care closer to homes.
      • formulation of a Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) to protect poor and vulnerable families against financial risk arising out of health episodes.
    • Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission : aims to connect the digital health solutions of hospitals across the country. Under this, every citizen will now get a digital health ID and their health record will be digitally protected.
    • National Ayush Mission: it is a centrally sponsored scheme  for the  development of traditional medicines 
    • Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY):aims to  correct regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/reliable tertiary healthcare services and also to augment facilities for quality medical education in the country

    Way Forward

    • India should focus on technology upgradation and preventive care to further its march towards healthy india.   

    Source:TH