World Health Statistics Report, 2018 released by the WHO


World Health Organization (WHO) released the World Health Statistics report 2018 according to which India’s per capita expenditure on health spends at a dismal $ 63 is less than that in neighbouring Bhutan and Sri Lanka. The report also says that the life expectancy in India is just 59.3 years which is very low as compared to several other developing countries.

World health statistics 2018 focuses on the health and health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and associated targets by bringing together data on a wide range of health-related SDG indicators. It also links to the three SDG-aligned strategic priorities of the WHO’s 13th General Programme of Work, 2019¬2023.

India’s per capita health expenditure is  among the lowest for developing countries with China reporting a per capita spending of $ 426, Thailand $ 217, Malaysia $ 386, Philippines $ 127, Sri Lanka $ 118 and Indonesia $ 112. Among the SAARC countries, Pakistan has a per person health expenditure lower than India’s at $ 38 while Bhutan has a better spending of $ 91. In comparison, developed countries have much better health expenditure figures with the USA reporting $ 9,536, UK $ 4,356 and Germany spending $ 4,592 per capita per year. The report also says that India’s health spending is a measly 3.9 per cent of GDP. Of this, public spending is just 1.15 per cent, which the government aims to raise to 2.5 per cent by 2025.

Source: World Health Statistics 2018

One of the key roles of the World Health Organization (WHO) is to monitor global health trends. The World Health Statistics series, published annually since 2005, is WHO’s annual snapshot of the state of the world’s health. Since 2016, the World Health Statistics series has focused on monitoring progress towards the SDGs and this 2018 edition contains the latest available data for 36 health-related SDG indicators.

According to the report, remarkable progress has been made on several fronts but huge challenges still remain to reach the targets for health.

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