Insights Daily Current Affairs, 27 August 2016
Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Indians spend 8 times more on private hospitals than on govt. ones
The National Health Accounts (NHA) Estimates data for the financial year 2013-14 was recently released. The data was released by the Health Ministry after almost a decade. The NHA monitors the flow of resources in the country’s health system and provides details of health finances.
Private Vs. Public Hospitals:
- Indians spent eight times more on private hospitals and twice as much on transporting patients compared to costs in government hospitals during financial year 2013-14.
- Households spent Rs. 64,628 crore on private hospitals compared to just Rs. 8,193 crore on government hospitals.
- A total of Rs. 18,149 crore was spent on patient transportation services, like use of an ambulance.
- Considering all revenue sources, including government funding, expenditure on private hospitals — Rs. 88,552 crore — was double that on government hospitals — Rs. 41,797 crore.
Healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP:
- India spent a total of Rs. 4.5 lakh crore on healthcare in 2013-14 at 4% of the GDP, of which Rs. 3.06 lakh crore came from households.
- Public spending is abysmally low, constituting around 29% of the total health expenditure — 1% of GDP.
- There has been a marginal improvement from 2004-05, when the share of government spending was just 22%.
- Preventive care gets just 9.6% of the total money that flows in India’s healthcare system. The current expenditure on preventive care is estimated at Rs 40,627 crore. All the government-funded national health programmes such as the National Disease Control Programmes are covered under this category.
Out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditure:
- Out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditure is the money individuals pay on their own rather than being covered by insurance or health benefits.
- Indians’ out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditure on healthcare has been estimated to be around Rs. 2.9 lakh crore or 69% cent of total health expenditure (THE) in the country. This is alarmingly high and India stands among the highest in this metric worldwide.
- The share of OOP as a percentage of Current Health Expenditure (CHE) has however, decreased from 69.4% in 2004-05 to 64.2% in 2013-14. The CHE comprises 93%, the rest 7% going to Capital Expenditure.
- Half of all the household money that is spent on healthcare — around Rs. 1.5 lakh crore — goes to pharmacies. This includes chemists, community and independent pharmacies.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
An online complaint box for reporting child sexual abuse, the POCSO e-Box was recently launched.
About POCSO e- Box:
Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO), e-Box, is an online complaint management system for easy and direct reporting of sexual offences against children and timely action against the offenders under the POCSO Act, 2012.
- E-Box is very simple to operate and will help to maintain the confidentiality of the complaint.
How a complaint is registered?
The e-Box is incorporated in the home page of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) website http://ncpcr.gov.in/ where a user has to simply push a button named POSCO e-Box.
- This will navigate to a page with a window containing an animation movie. The animation movie reassures the child that whatever has happened to him/her is not his/her fault and she/he need not feel guilty and that NCPCR is a friend which will help her.
- After the user presses the arrow on this page, it navigates to another page where he/ she has to select at least one picture option (describing the category of harassment) and fill the form with details such as mobile number, e-mail and description of the harassment followed by the ‘submit’ button. The complaint is then registered and a unique auto-generated complaint number is flashed.
Sexual offences against children are rampant but only a small percentage gets reported. According to a study, about 53% of children surveyed, reported having faced one or the other form of sexual abuse in their lifetime. In most cases, the offender is a family member/near relative or an acquaintance. The child victim in such cases generally does not report these offences. Sexual abuse scars the psyche of the affected child for entire life. A child who is sexually abused has to face very serious consequences such as cognitive impairment, violent and risk behaviour including depression and anxiety. Feeling shame and guilt with poor interpersonal relationship & self esteem are other consequences of sexually abused children.
About POCSO Act:
Being concerned about offences against children, the Government enacted POCSO Act, 2012 to protect them from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography, while safeguarding the interest of the child at every stage of the judicial process.
- This is achieved by incorporating child friendly mechanisms for reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and speedy trial of offences through designated Special Courts.
- Any human being up to the age of 18 years is recognised as a child under the POCSO Act.
Paper 3 Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Centre sets up panel to suggest steps to promote card payments
The Finance Ministry has set up a committee to consider incentives such as cash back schemes and tax rebates for promoting card and digital payments in a step towards discouraging cash transactions.
- The panel, which will review the payments system in the country and recommend measures for encouraging digital payments, has been set up following a decision taken by the Cabinet in February.
- The 11-member committee is headed by former Finance Secretary Ratan P Watal. The committee has been given a year’s time to submit its report.
Tasks to be performed by the committee:
- The committee will recommend various measures to incentivise transactions through cards and digital means, e.g., through tax rebates/incentives, introduction of cash back/lottery.
- It will study feasibility of creating a payments history of all card/digital payments and ensure that merchants/consumers can leverage the data to access “instant, low cost micro-credit” through digital means and create necessary linkage between the payment history and credit information.
- It will study and recommend need for changes, if any, in the regulatory mechanism under various laws, relevant for the purpose of promotion of payments by digital modes.
- It will study and recommend ways for leveraging Unique Identification Number or any other proof of identity for authentication of card/digital transactions and setting up of a centralised KYC Registry.
- The panel will also study introduction of single window system of payment gateway to accept all types of cards/digital payments of government receipts and enable settlements via NPCI or other agencies.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
- World’s largest marine protected area: U.S. is all set to expand a national monument off the coast of Hawaii, creating the world’s largest marine protected area. US President Obama has decided to quadruple the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, originally created by ex-president George W. Bush in 2006. The Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument will contain some 582,578 square miles, more than twice the size of Texas. The designation bans commercial fishing and any new mining, as is the case within the existing monument. Recreational fishing will be allowed through a permit, as will be scientific research and the removal of fish and other resources for Native Hawaiian cultural practices.
- Unique ID numbers to elephants: Elephants that are in possession of the Karnataka Forest Department, private organisations and individuals will be implanted with a microchip, which are equipped with unique numbers. Nearly 60 elephants will now be identified with their number in order to aid the forest department in monitoring them. The initiative is being undertaken by the forest department to check false information private owners and, even forest authorities furnish during investigation processes.
- 19th SAARC Summit: 19th SAARC Summit will be held in Islamabad in November 2016. This was announced by Pakistan recently. 18th summit was held in Nepal.