The health nudge is merely a mirage
- Amid a pandemic, India has a unique opportunity to transform its health sector. How is the country faring?
- In a year when everything should have gone into building a world-class healthcare system, what we see is the finance ministry resorting to minor tweaks in the existing public health edifice.
HYDERABAD : The Union Budget, as expected, focused on healthcare, recognizing the havoc that the pandemic has caused in the country. The Economic Survey too had announced last week that health has to now take centerstage. The finance minister’s Budget speech mentioned handsome allocations—a ₹2.24 trillion health booster shot, implying a 137% increase in the outlay. This amounts to slightly more than 1.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). While this figure in itself is an exaggeration (explained later), what it shows is that the government has been unable to bring health spends anywhere close to 2%, as it should have by 2021.