Health care has emerged as one of the most challenging sectors as well as one of the largest service sector industries in India. India is working aggressively to achieve the goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all its citizens in general and those below poverty line (BPL) in particular. With host of government health insurance schemes in offing, it is estimated that about 50% population was covered with some definite amount of health cover.
Governments at central and state level are working hard to expand population base to cover majority of population, yet it remains a challenge. While government share in healthcare spending remains around 1.2% of GDP, it is encouraging to note that private sector was pitching in with healthy 3.8% of GDP as investment in healthcare.
There is a need for incentivising higher private investments in the healthcare sector and also synergize the efforts of the Government and the Private health care sector to achieve the goal of UHC.
Almost three quarters of all NCD deaths (28 million) & the majority of premature deaths (82%) occurred in low-and middle- income countries. (Global Status Report on Non Communicable Diseases, 2014). Cumulatively, NCDs contribute to huge losses in productive years of individuals resulting both in catastrophic health expenditure at individual level and macroeconomic loss at national and international level. Accounting for 63% of the annual global death toll and for untold morbidity and disability, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become the dominant public health challenge of the 21st century. NCDs not only have a serious impact on human health, but also on economic growth.
India is experiencing a rapid health transition with a rising burden of NCDs. In 21 century, where India is making marked economic progress, it is confronting an ever increasing burden of NCDs while still continuing to fight against communicable diseases.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the burden of NCDs has increased alarmingly all over the world and India is a major contributor to this burden. Overall, NCDs are emerging as the leading cause of deaths in India accounting for over 42% of all deaths (Registrar General of India).
Most non communicable conditions are chronic and these chronic conditions cause significant morbidity and mortality both in urban and rural population groups, with a huge loss in potentially productive years (aged 35–64 years) of life.
Chronic conditions have become the biggest epidemic contributing enormously to the global burden of disease both in developed and developing nations. Combating this problem is one of the most significant challenge for the public health community globally. Although, India's healthcare sector has made impressive strides in recent years, it needs to gear up to tackle the chronic disease epidemic efficiently and effectively.