The Need for Healthcare in India on World Health Day

May 08, 2018 | 6 months ago | Read Time: 2 minutes | By iKnowledge Team

Indian healthcare has undergone a sea of changes in the past decade or so. There has been an increase in infrastructure and quality of private hospitals, a decline in infant mortality rate and total fertility rate. However, when it comes to public health expenditure, there is much work that remains to be done.

World Health Day was recently observed, and many experts opined that India has a long way to go when it comes to healthcare. Read on to know why there’s a need for reform in the healthcare sector in India.

Accessibility

India still lacks a healthcare system that can benefit all its citizens irrespective of their economic backgrounds. When a citizen can’t afford healthcare due to lack of resources, it causes them significant financial distress. They are also unable to access healthcare in private hospitals that cater to the urban middle class. This is in contrast with India’s constitution that guarantees free healthcare for its citizens. In practice, private entities dominate the healthcare sector in India. Most patients pay healthcare expenses out of their pockets rather than through insurance. The gap between resources and the demand for health services needs to be bridged. Accessibility of healthcare in the rural sector is also an area that needs reform.

Health Insurance

The Health Budget in 2018 announced a National Health Protection Scheme (also known as Modicare) that aims to provide health insurance to 10 crore poor families. The scheme will cost the Indian government about Rs. 16,717 crores in the first two years on the free health insurance programme. If implemented effectively, this can be a huge milestone for healthcare in India. The government is yet to create awareness on the importance of health insurance and make them accessible to all sections of society.

Awareness campaigns

There is also a need to change the amount of investment in preventative measures. Non-communicable diseases are on the rise and are adding to the financial liabilities of Indians. Raising awareness on preventable and lifestyle diseases can help improve healthcare in India. The government must initiate programmes that encourage Indians to quit unhealthy eating habits, adopt low-fat diets and exercise on a regular basis. In addition to awareness campaigns and active participation of all stakeholders, monitoring the results is also important to bring about reform.

Infrastructural changes

Healthcare infrastructure is not in proportion to the Indian population. For starters, the total number of hospitals and healthcare professionals (both private and public) are still unable to meet the demand for healthcare services in India. The government is currently focusing on awareness programmes to prevent diseases and ailments. While that is necessary, more is needed to solve the healthcare crisis in India. The resources being spent on healthcare infrastructure remains dismal even though India accounts for over 17 percent of the world’s population. It is essential to upgrade and create new infrastructure to improve health outcomes in the country.

Conclusion

Good health is the fundamental right of every Indian citizen. The government should make necessary reforms to ensure that every citizen has access to a good healthcare system. The private sector must indulge in ethical practices to supplement the government’s efforts to make healthcare accessible to all.

Advt. No. : IA/May 2018/3923


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