Economic survey points out child, maternal malnutrition as major risk factors for health

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 29, 2018 17:47 hrs
Economic survey

The Economic Survey tabled by FM Arun Jaitley, pointed out that Child and maternal malnutrition continue to remain the most challenging risk factor for health loss in India.

The other key health factors in the list include air pollution, dietary risks, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Although, the Survey found a significant improvement in health status (life expectancy) of an individual at birth increasing nearly 10 years from 1990 to 2015, the limited affordability and access to medical services remained pressing challenges resulting, in inappropriate responses to disease control and patent management.

The report figured out that the out of pocket expenditure (OoPE) on health stands at a whopping 62%, impacting adversely, poorer sections, widening inequalities. The findings of household health expenditure survey in India indicate that about 10 per cent of OoPE on health was spent by households on diagnostics (including medicines and diagnostic test as part of package) during 2013-14, the survey said.

Private hospitals and clinics accounted for 31% of the current health expenditure (CHE) said the report, citing the National health accounts 2014-15, while government healthcare providers accounted for 23%.

The survey stated that the wide difference in average prices of diagnostic tests across various cities in India, and the range in the prices remained substantial. There is a need to prioritise standardisation of rates by devising appropriate quality assurance framework and regulatory mechanism.

The survey also noted that although the government had enacted the “Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010" and also notified the "Clinical Establishments (Central Government) Rules, 2012" for regulation of clinical establishments across the country, these acts were applicable in only 10 states and Union Territories. Remaining States need to adhere to these acts, ensure strict compliance, read the report.