Health of our Nation: India Ranks 171 out of 175 on Healthcare Spending

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

If statistics are any indication on the state of health in India,there is a lot to worry...As per World Health Organization survey, India is at the bottom of the heap in terms of public health spending and ranks 171st out of 175 countries,which is less than even what some of the sub-Saharan African countries spent on their Healthcare.

The highest public health care spending per person is in the regions of Western Europe, North America and Japan. Luxembourg, Norway and Iceland. For a country that has the second largest population and is soon to overtake china , India spends 5.2% of its GDP on healthcare — compared to, say, 16% in the US and 13% in Sweden. Of this, only 0.9% is spent by the government while the private sector accounts for the remaining 4.3%.

The US,UK,and Switzerland spends the most as a percentage of their GDP. Health Care spending in the US is projected to grow to 19.5% of GDP in 2017.

In 1962, Defense spending in the US made up half of the federal budget, Social Security about 15% and Medicare had not yet been enacted. By 2007, Defense spending is only 20% of the budget while Social Security makes up 21% and Medicare 16% and rising.

According to Vishal Bali,CEO Wockhardt Hospitals, “Public health spending as a percentage of GDP is minuscule. Due to this, India is over-dependent on the private sector. Contrast us with China, which spends almost almost 6% of its GDP of health,’’ says Vishal Bali, CEO, Wockhardt Hospitals. While India ranks among the top 10 countries for communicable diseases, it is a world leader in chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease.

Despite the wide gaps, higher spending on health care does not necessarily prolong lives. In 2000, theUnited States spent more on health care than any other country in the world: an average of $ 4,500 per person. Switzerland was second highest, at $3,300 or 71% of the US. Nevertheless, average US life expectancy ranks 27th in the world, at 77 years.

Treating Pediatric Congenital Heart Diseases

Wockhardt Hospitals offers various advanced surgical therapies for congenital heart diseases for pediatric patients of all ages from newborns to adolescents.The conditions that we treat more often in the various age groups includes


Trans position of the great arteries (emergency switch procedures). In this condition the anatomical positions of the pulmonary artery and aorta was switched so that the aorta arises from the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery arises from the left ventricle.

This causes oxygen poor blood to be circulated to the body instead of oxygen rich blood, a life threatening medical emergency requiring immediate treatment.Our surgeons have pioneered the innovative arterial switch procedure that reestablishes normal anatomy and function while seeking to avoid complications that are associated with other surgical approaches.

Hypoplastic left heart Syndrome (Norwood procedure of Hypoplastic left heart); This is a condition in which the left side of the heart is incompletely formed.We have extensive experiance with the Norwood Procedure and stage palliation for the HLHS .Our success rate ranks among the best in the country for this type of repair and we are currently involved with a major multi institutional study evaluating this and other innovative procedures for the treatement of HLHS.


Tetralogy of Fallot:The most common cyanotic defect (the heart delivers less oxygen to the body than normal).This complex congenital condition consists of 4 developmental defects that require surgical correction early in childhood.

Ventricular Septal Defect:An opening in the wall that separates the two ventricles of the heart,causing mixing of oxygen-poor blood with oxygen-rich blood.

Atrial Septal Defect:An opening in the wall between the right and left atria that results in abnormal blood flow throught the heart.Left untreated,this condition can cause enlargement of the right side of the heart,arrhythmia s and , in some cases, pulmonary hypertension.

Coarctation of the aorta A constriction in the aorta that causes blood pressure to increase above the narrowed area while limiting blood flow to the body.

Atrioventricular Canals: large openings between the right and left sides of the heart.Usually,one large common valve replaces the normal mitral and tricuspid valves .Left untreated,this defect can cause poor growth malnourishment and enlargement of the heart and pulmonary hypertension.


Fontan procedure: Single ventricle,a collective term that describes defects in which oxygen-rich blood and poor blood are mixed in a single ventricle. Our pediatric cardiac surgeons have the expertise in the fontan procedure that directs oxygen poor blood directly to the pulmonary artery and lungs.The single ventricle is reservd for collecting oxygen rich blood from the lungs and then pumping it to the aorta and rest of the body.

Repair of previous surgery; Our team of pediatric cardiac surgeons has vast experiance,speciallty in performing repair surgeries on children suffering from complex heart problem such as blue babies,in transposition of great arteries(by performing switches and double swicthes) and Ross procedure.

For appointments and enquiries,please email us at


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