New Delhi, November 23, 2018: India has witnessed a major rise in communicable and non-communicable diseases in the last decade. The figures are likely to increase, and there is no devised plan to curb the problem. The challenges are mounting for the healthcare industry. At this point, there is a need to look at all the possible opportunities to improve the same.
Indians are meeting 62 per cent of their health expenses from personal savings, explain medical practitioners at AMRI Hospitals, one of the best hospitals in Kolkata, West Bengal.
For comparison, if we look at the UK, people are only paying for 10 per cent of their health expenses, while the US and China stand at 13.4 and 54 per cent respectively. This shows the inability of the existing policies to cater to the growing demand.
The private sector is dominating the healthcare delivery system across the country. The majority of population living below the poverty line, with an ability to spend Rs 47 per day in urban areas, and Rs 32 in rural areas, is only adding fuel to the fire. These sections of the society face several problems as they rely on under-financed and short-staffed public sector for healthcare needs.
Furthermore, healthcare professionals are concentrated in urban areas due to the higher paying power of the citizens, leaving the rural areas vulnerable. Although, there are adequate physicians in the country, 74 per cent of them cater to a third of the urban population. India is 81 per cent short of specialists at rural community health centers, which speaks volumes about the challenges faced by our healthcare sector.
There are many reasons behind these challenges,a major one beinga vast population, which is more than 1.3 billion, according to the latest Census. It is not easy to cater to such a huge population. On the other hand, the infrastructure in government hospitals is also poor, forcing patients to visit private hospitals and medical practitioners.
Apart from this, the government contribution towards insurance is not helping the cause. The contribution stands at 32 per cent, which is way below similar contribution in developed countries. Furthermore, the technology used in public hospitals is not updated, making the process lengthy and complicated, say medical practitioners at AMRI Hospitals, one of the leading hospitals in Kolkata, West Bengal.
The situation also presents an opportunity to the government to alter the course of the Indian healthcare. With better initiatives and healthcare schemes, there is still a possibility of changing the current state of the industry.
Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)