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World Bank lends for Health Sector in India

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    10th Mar, 2023


The World Bank is lending up to $1 billion to help India with preparedness for future pandemics as well as to strengthen its health infrastructure. 


    • The lending will be divided into two complementary loans of $500 million each.
    • The bank will support India’s flagship Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM), launched in October 2021, to improve the public healthcare infrastructure across the country. 
  • In addition to the national-level interventions, one of the loans will prioritise health service delivery in seven States including Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The $500-million Public Health Systems for Pandemic Preparedness Program (PHSPP) will support the government’s efforts to prepare India’s surveillance system to detect and report epidemics of potential international concern. 
  • Another portion of funds will also be allocated for Enhanced Health Service Delivery Program (EHSDP), which will support government’s efforts to strengthen service delivery through a redesigned primary healthcare model.
    • It includes improved household access to primary healthcare facilities, stronger links between each household and its primary care facility through regular household visits and risk assessment of non-communicable diseases.
  • Both the PHSPP and the EHSDP utilise the Program-for-Results financing instrument that focuses on achievement of results rather than inputs. 
  • Both the PHSPP and EHSDP loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) have a final maturity of 18.5 years including a grace period of five years.

Need of the initiative:

  • COVID-19 has underscored the need for developing capacity for core public health functions, as well as for improving the quality and comprehensiveness of health service delivery.

India’s Health sector:

  • In India, the Health care sector is one of the largest sectors in terms of both revenue and employment.
  • India’s performance in health has improved over time. 
  • According to World Bank estimates, India’s life expectancy has increased from 58 in 1990 to 69.8 in 2020. 
  • This is higher than average for the country’s income level. 
  • Other indicators: 
    • The under-five mortality rate (36 per 1,000 live births), 
    • Infant mortality rate (30 per 1,000 live births), and 
    • Maternal mortality ratio (103 per 100,000 live births) is all close to the average for India’s income level.

Persistent issues in the sector

Required measures

  • Inadequate reach and fund
  • Optimal Insurance
  • No focus on Preventive Car
  • Less emphasis on Medical Research
  • Issue of Policymaking
  • Shortage of Medical Workforce
  • Inadequate outlay for health
  • Lack of structure
  • Improving infrastructure
  • Focus on efficiency enhancement
  • Technology utilisation
  • Awareness
  • Effective government intervention
  • Increased Budgetary allocation


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