The improvement of India’s health services is boosting its economic growth rate

India’s healthcare infrastructure will grow at a very fast pace and will strengthen the economy along with creating jobs.

Authored by Prahlad Sabnani, Retired Deputy General Manager, State Bank of India

Healthy citizens in any country are considered a huge capital for that country. Keeping the citizens healthy has two direct benefits to the country’s economic growth. One, the productivity of healthy citizens of the country is comparatively high.

Second, if citizens are sick, they have to spend more to keep them healthy, which is counted as a kind of unproductive expenditure, and the productivity of ill citizens is low. Meanwhile, if quality health services are available in the country, then the unwell citizens can be cured quickly and their productivity can be increased again, whose direct benefit is seen in the form of improvement in the economic development of that city as well as the country.

In recent times, continuous efforts are being made by India’s central government to improve health services in the country and the budget provision of the amount spent by the central government on the health sector is constantly being increased so that the citizens of the country do not only stay healthy but even if they are sick, they can be provided with quality health services and they can engage themselves in economic activities by taking health benefits at the earliest.

In this context, India’s Ayushman Bharat scheme implemented by the central government can be mentioned here. This scheme has become a boon for the poor and downtrodden by becoming the basis for a healthy life for the poor class in a short span of time. Ayushman Bharat Yojana or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana is a health insurance cover scheme of the Government of India, which was implemented across India on 23 September 2018.

The objective of this scheme is to provide health insurance to economically weaker citizens i.e. BPL holders. Cashless health insurance up to Rs 5 lakh is being provided to every family covered under this in India only.  

Not only has the Ayushman Bharat scheme been implemented, but the central government is also making many other efforts to make health services easy and accessible in the country.

Recently, India’s central government has integrated the ‘e-Sanjeevani’ telemedicine service with the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM). It aims at bridging the gaps in existing digital health services in the country and creating a digital path for the concerned parties.

Tele-consultation service under Ayushman Bharat Yojana, launched in the year 2018, has crossed 3 crore teleconsultations. At the same time, under the Ayushman Bharat Jan Arogya Yojana, which started on 23 September 2018, Ayushman cards have been provided to more than 18 crore families, that is, about 90 crores of India’s citizens are able to take direct benefits of this health insurance scheme.

Telemedicine
Telemedicine

Although efforts are being made to improve India’s health services in the country since independence, during the last 8 years, due to special attention given to it, there has been a vast improvement in the health system of the country. The manner in which this pandemic was successfully controlled in India during the Corona epidemic has been appreciated all over the world. In a country with a population of more than 130 crores, the mortality rate was very low as compared to other developed countries and in later times more than 200 crore doses of vaccine prepared in India have been successfully administered to the citizens of the country, due to which the Covid pandemic has been controlled in a way in India, while citizens of countries like China, America, Britain, etc. are still battling the corona disease.


India’s healthcare can generate 2.7 million additional jobs.

India’s healthcare industry has been growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of around 22% since 2016. This rate is expected to reach USD 372 Billion in 2022. Healthcare has become one of the largest sectors of the Indian economy in terms of both revenue and employment. In 2015, the healthcare sector became the fifth largest employer, employing 4.7 Million people directly. As per estimates by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), healthcare can generate 2.7 Million additional jobs in India between 2017-22 — over 500,000 new jobs per year.-

-NITI Aayog Report-2021





Due to the improvement in health services in India, the life expectancy of the citizens of the country has increased. According to the World Bank report, life expectancy in India has increased from 51 years during 1970-75 to 69 years in 2015-19. At the time of independence, the number of primary health care centers in India was only 725, whereas today more than 1.5 lakh health centers have been established in the country. Similarly, in the year 1950-51, the number of medical colleges in India was only 28. Whereas today 595 Allopathy and 733 Ayush Medical Colleges have been established in India.


Not only have the health services improved in India, but the central government has also done incomparable work in strengthening the medical infrastructure in India, this includes expansion of medical facilities as well as expansion of technical facilities. Due to this, today India is also becoming a favorite place for the treatment of foreign nationals.

India is becoming a hub of medical tourism. India has today become one of the few countries in the world in terms of medical facilities. Foreign nationals are now coming to India not only for the purpose of traveling but also for their treatment. Every year lakhs of foreign nationals are coming to India for treatment of complex diseases. India today has become the third largest country in the world, in terms of treatment, preferred. Actually, the treatment of diseases in developed countries is very expensive. Compared to the said amount in India, it becomes only between 20 to 30 percent of the amount.

Therefore, medical tourism is flourishing in India. Citizens of neighboring countries especially Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iraq, Oman, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, etc. also turn to India for treatment of serious diseases. Along with this, citizens of developed countries such as America, Russia, Britain, Australia, etc., are also coming to India for treatment. India had liberalized its visa policy in the year 2014, which is now benefiting the medical sector as well.  The number of medical visas is increasing every year. Many private hospitals in India are attracting foreign nationals for treatment.

Crores of people have benefited from the public welfare schemes of the Honorable Shri Narendra Modi government, which came to power at the Center in the year 2014.

In addition to the above-mentioned Ayushman Bharat scheme, more than 45 crore bank accounts have been opened under other schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana. More than 9 crore LPG connections have been given under the Ujjwala scheme. 12.35 crore farmers are getting benefits from Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. 80 crore people have benefited from the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. Under Jal Jeevan Mission, tap water has been provided to 5.5 crore households. 2.52 crore houses have been constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

Thus, by improving health services and implementing many other schemes, India has become the fastest growing economy in the world today and is moving towards being included in the top 3 economies of the world.

Thus, by improving health services and implementing many other schemes, India has become the fastest growing economy in the world today and is moving towards being included in the top 3 economies of the world. According to the World Bank, between 1947 and 1980, the growth rate of the Indian economy was in the range of -5 percent to 9 percent, it has seen many ups and downs from time to time.

On the other hand, if we leave the era of the Corona epidemic, then from the year 1992 to the year 2019, the growth rate of GDP in India has been in the range of 4 percent to 8 percent. That is, now with stability in the Indian economy, strength is also coming. In the April-June 2022 quarter, the Indian economy achieved a growth rate of 13.5 percent.

Whereas other major economies of the world, such as China, have had a GDP growth rate of 0.4 percent during this period, Spain 1.1 %, Italy 1.0%, France 0.5%, Germany 0.1 %, Britain -0.10%, and the US – has been 0.6%. This has probably been possible due to the continuous improvement in health services in India and other above-mentioned countries are still battling the corona epidemic.

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