Rajasthan is the first State to attempt the Institutionalisation of Health Accounts. An orientation on the Institutionalisation of State Health Accounts in Rajasthan was organised by the World Health Organization (WHO) at the Secretariat.
WHO India Technical Officer (Health Financing) Dr Grace Achangura gave a presentation to the officials of the Department of Medical, Health and Family Welfare. She explained about the global experiences and policy relevance of producing health accounts and their importance in tracking health expenditure to inform policy. State Health Accounts support regular tracking and monitoring of health expenditures over time and can serve as an important tool for evidence-based policy making.
The presentation also highlighted the need for regular and systematic health accounts at a sub-national level and commended the initiative taken by Rajasthan to be the first state to attempt institutionalisation of the health accounts exercise.
Principal Secretary (Finance) Akhil Arora endorsing the need and use of health accounts production for the State, said that the need to capture the opportunity cost involved in health sector allocation and the need to use information arising from the health accounts to inform impact assessment of the current Government policies so that their revision and redesign can be done in future.
Health Secretary Dr Prithvi pointed out how the Government of Rajasthan has prioritised health which is evident by an allocation of 7% of the Government’s budget to health which is higher than the national Indian average. Acknowledging the considerable effort required in building the requisite capacity for health accounts in Rajasthan, he highlighted the enthusiasm among all officials to initiate such an exercise.
The meeting was initiated by the Director of Public Health Dr VK Mathur highlighted Rajasthan’s role as an innovator in the health sector. He said the State has been at the forefront in adopting innovative practices and models to expand Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for its citizens. In addition to broad-based schemes such as the Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme, Free Medicines and Free Diagnostics Scheme, Rajasthan has also been a pathfinder state in other areas of health system strengthening and innovations.
As the State continues to build upon these successes, it will be essential for Rajasthan to generate necessary evidence that can help inform resource allocation and expenditure decisions. A key tool to support this is the systematic tracking of expenditure along with various aspects of health system functions (source, provider, level) by institutionalising the practice of generating State Health Accounts within Rajasthan.
State Health Accounts support regular tracking and monitoring of health expenditures over time and can serve as an important tool for evidence-based policy making. They do so by describing fund flows and reflecting on the changing association among various actors within the health system.
It is to be mentioned that Rajasthan has taken steps toward becoming the first State in India to initiate efforts towards institutionalising health accounts at a sub-national level. This commitment has been formalised by the state through an official order putting in place the necessary institutional structures and delegating specific personnel to take on efforts of generating health accounts for Rajasthan in the time ahead.
WHO India Country Office will be contributing to the Government of Rajasthan’s effort by providing technical and financial support for conducting the first round of health accounts which it is anticipated will be institutionalised into state processes and budgetary allocations in the time ahead.