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The estimates were made for reaching 16 SDG health targets in 67 low—and middle-income countries that account for 75% of the world’s population. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint
The estimates were made for reaching 16 SDG health targets in 67 low—and middle-income countries that account for 75% of the world’s population. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

Low and middle income countries need $371 billion annually to meet SDG by 2030

Low- and middle-income countries including India may require up to $371 billion annually to meet life-saving global health targets by 2030, according to a WHO report

New Delhi: Low- and middle-income countries including India may require up to $371 billion annually to meet life-saving global health targets by 2030, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Health Price Tag", an analysis by WHO published in the Lancet Global Health Journal, shows that investments to expand services towards universal health coverage and the other SDG health targets could prevent 97 million premature deaths globally between now and 2030, and add as much as 8.4 years of life expectancy in some countries.

“Universal health coverage is ultimately a political choice. It is the responsibility of every country and national government to pursue it," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said.

The estimates were made for reaching 16 SDG health targets in 67 low—and middle-income countries that account for 75% of the world’s population.

The SDG Health Price Tag modelled two scenarios i.e. an “ambitious" scenario in which investments are sufficient for countries to attain the health targets in the SDGs by 2030; and a “progress" scenario in which countries get two-thirds or more of the way to the targets. “Under the “ambitious" scenario, achieving the SDG health targets would require new investments increasing over time from an initial $134 billion annually to $371 billion, or $58 per person, by 2030," the analysis said.

The ambitious scenario includes adding more than 23 million health workers, and building more than 415 000 new health facilities, 91% of which would be primary health care centres.

In both scenarios, health systems investments such as employing more health workers, building and operating new clinics, hospitals and laboratories, and buying medical equipment account for about 75% of the total. The remaining costs are for medicines, vaccines, syringes and other commodities used to prevent or treat specific diseases, and for activities such as training, health campaigns and outreach to vulnerable communities, the analysis said.

“These investments would boost health spending as a proportion of gross domestic product across all 67 countries from an average of 5.6% to 7.5%. The global average for health spending as a proportion of GDP is 9.9%, it said.

The “progress" scenario would require new investments increasing from an initial $104 billion a year to $274 billion, or $41 per person, by 2030.

The Indian government’s investment on healthcare currently remains a dismal 1.2% of GDP.

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