Jakarta (ANTARA) - Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spending is a measure that shows if a country prioritizes public health, according to the chair of the T20 Global Health Supply Chain (GHSC), Hasbullah Thabrany.

"GDP spending is a measure of how countries prioritize health. How the countries view it as a long-term investment," he said at the T20 event, ‘The Indonesian Healthcare Future Forward,’ here on Tuesday.

According to Thabrany, most developed countries have been increasing spending on health. For example, the United States spends the highest proportion of its GDP of 17 percent on health, he highlighted.

Meanwhile, the proportion of GDP spending on health is lower for developing countries, including Indonesia, Thabrany pointed out.

However, in the last two decades, GDP spending in the health sector in most developing countries has shown an increasing trend, he said.

For instance, in South Korea, there has been an "aggressive" or twofold increase in GDP spending on health, he noted. This trend has also been followed by Saudi Arabia, but has slightly declined in India, he said.

"It is important on how we can improve public health because most health infrastructure relies heavily on financing," he explained.

According to Thabrany, if a country has adequate and proper financing, health services can provide many benefits to the community.

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Among G20 countries, India has the lowest GDP spending on health, he noted.

"This is a big challenge as India will hold the next Presidency to follow up on the G20, (while) financing will be a crucial component," he said.

Think20 (T20) is part of the G20 engagement groups where experts gather and make recommendations to G20 leaders for resolving inequality, uneven economic recovery, and global clashes.

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Translator: Devi R, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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