India today allocates lower than one per cent gross domestic product (GDP) to health. According to United Nations calculations, India’s spending on public health as a share of GDP is the 18th lowest in the world. 150 million Indians are blind. 2.13 per cent of the total population (21.9 million) live with disabilities in India. Yet, only 34 per cent of the disabled are employed [Census 2001] India has the single highest share of neonatal deaths in the world, 2.1 million.
107,000 Leprosy patients live in India. 15.3 % of the population do not survive to the age of forty. Serpent attacks kill as many as 50,000 Indians while the cobra occupies a hallowed place in the Hindu religion. Heart disease, strokes and diabetes cost India an estimated $9 billion in lost productivity in 2005. The losses could grow to a staggering $200 billion over the next 10 years if corrective action is not taken quickly, says a study by the New Delhi-based Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations.
There are only 585 rural hospitals compared to 985 urban hospitals in the country. Out of the 6,39,729 doctors registered in India, only 67,576 are in the public sector and the rest either in private sectors or abroad, pointing towards the severity of the problem. According to a survey by NSSO (National Sample Survey Organisation), 40 per cent of the people hospitalised have either had to borrow money or sell assets to cover their medical expenses. Over 85 per cent of the Indian population does not have any form of health coverage.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem in India. India accounts for one-fifth of the global TB incident cases. Each year about 1.8 million people in India develop TB, of which 0.8 million are infectious cases. It is estimated that annually around 330,000 Indians die due to TB. [WHO India]
Every year, nearly one million Indians die of tobacco-related diseases. Tobacco industry brings a revenue of Rs 270 billion to the country every year, but the treatment cost of the disease burden is at least Rs 300 billion. (Hindustan Times)