Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday said the public health system in the country had ‘‘collapsed’’, noting that even poorer countries like Bangladesh and Kenya have superior health indicators.
In a candid assessment of the country’s health sector, Ramesh also said 70% of the health expenditure is met from private sources, making it a ‘‘unique’’ country. This was the ‘‘single most important’’ reason for indebtedness in rural areas, he added.
‘‘Today the single most important reason for rural area indebtedness is expenditure on health. We all know that the health system in India has collapsed. India is unique country in the world where 70% of the health expenditure is private expenditure,’’ he said at the Hindustan Times leadership summit here.
In many part of India, he said, public health system simply does not exist.
Ramesh also noted that countries all over the world are debating the issue of increasing public spending on health. To improve the social indices, the outspoken minister wanted states to make a fundamental commitment for creating elected institutions and institutions of participation, noting that such measures has helped states which have abided by this commitment.