Government Plans to Increase Spending on Health for Development Goals

India’s government spending on health in 2015-16 was 1.17 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), according to a Union ministry report. The government wants to improve the expenditure to 2.5 percent by 2025 to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The union ministry of statistics and program implementation (MoSPI) released the National Indicator Framework Baseline Report that includes 41 indicators to track the country’s health and well-being. The report has been developed to provide a benchmark to track the country’s progress towards SDG targets at the national level till 2030. To track the progress, the period 2015-16 has been used as the baseline period. Among primary health indicators that the government is focusing on improving in the next decade are maternal mortality ratio (MMR), which is the number of women dying per 100,000 live births, deaths of newborns and of children under 5 years, in epidemics such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and premature mortality from non-communicable diseases.

A resolution was adopted by global leaders at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, including India, held in 2015 on ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, where it had adopted the SDGs. “The target is to increase the public health expenditure in a phased manner,” a senior health ministry official said, requesting anonymity, as the official isn’t authorized to speak to media. “India’s health indicators are improving at a good rate. If you look at the maternal mortality ratio, India’s present rate is below the Millennium Development Goal target of 139 per 100,000 live births. The country is on track to achieve the SDG target of below 70 by 2030,” the official added. To monitor the SDGs and related targets, the MoSPI has developed a National Indicator Framework (NIF) comprising 306 national indicators in consultation with central ministries, departments, states and other stakeholders. – Hindustan Times

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