J&K households spend 44% from their own pockets on health: Report

J&K households spend 44% from their own pockets on health: Report
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Srinagar, Sep 23: Households in Jammu and Kashmir have spent more than 44 percent from their own pockets on health, reveals a report by National Health Accounts Estimates 2018-19, which was released this month.

According to a report, J&K households spent Rs 1,772 crores on healthcare services, accounting for a major chunk of the total health expenditure (THE) which is Rs 3946 crores.

However, Government Health Expenditure (GHE) was Rs 2,023 crores which is 51.3 percent of the total spending.

The total health expenditure has three components—government spending, people spending out of pocket and the third is a combination of private health insurance, expenditures by enterprises, not-for-profit institutions or NGOs and external sources of funds from outside India.

As per the details available with Greater Kashmir, in 2017-2018, the out-of- pocket expenditure in J&K was 42.8 percent which has increased to 44.9 percent in 2018-2019.

In Uttar Pradesh, out-of-pocket health expenditure accounts for 71.3 per cent of the state’s total health expenditure (THE). Other states with a high out-of-pocket health expenditure share are West Bengal (68.7 percent of THE), Punjab (65.5 per cent), Odisha (53.2 per cent), Telangana (48 per cent) and Himachal Pradesh (45.8 per cent).

According to the report, Himachal and J&K are the only states/UT, where the government accounts for more than half the total spending on health.

Moreover, almost all states have increased public spending on health but J&K saw the lowest increase in this period.

According to the United Nations health organisation, over the years, high out-of-pocket health has increased the share of population in India living below the poverty line.

The out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) was 4.2 percentage points in 1993–1994, 4.8 percentage points in 2004–2005 and 4.5 percentage points in 2011–2012.

According to WHO, 26 million people in 1993–1994 were spending from their pockets and about 55 million in 2011–2012.

Last month, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said that the government is investing in healthcare and medical education.

He had said that people now have easy access to healthcare and systemic improvements have led to high quality health care clearly visible in key health status indicators and national rankings.

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