Payment delays in India's health programmes

Last year, India's federal health ministry started sending funds for public health programmes to state treasuries, stopping direct transfers to its regional arms. But poorly-run regional bureaucracies were unable to disburse the funds in time and both the flagship National Health Mission and India's AIDS prevention programmes suffered.

AIDS funding state by state

Funding is released to state treasuries after months of delays.

15 days
Stipulated time period in which funds should be transferred from treasury to state-health societies.

Public health funding

Since April last year, the federal government has sent more than $1.3 billion to the states for the National Health Mission (NHM), India's main health programme that provides basic medicial services to the poor. No state treasury released the funds to the desginated health societies within a stipulated 15-day period, with delays running into months in some cases. More than $180 million is still to be released.

SECOND TRANCHE (as of Feb. 22)

Public health spending

India spends just over one percent of its GDP on public health. Still, the country stuggles to spend all of its allocated health funds because of an inadequate number of doctors and hospitals.

Budget estimate
Revised estimate
Actual spending

Dollar values calculated on $1 = 62 rupees

Note: NHM funds show money earmarked for Reproductive Child Health and Mission Flexi Pool.

Sources: Government of India; Government data for India's NHM funds; Public Health Foundation of India, Budget Documents, RBI; World Health Organization


Graphics by Jane Pong, Simon Scarr and Chris Inton    |    Last updated: 2 March, 2015