Despite, being one of the most populous countries, India has the most private healthcare in the world.
Out of the pocket public payments makeup 75% of the total expenditure on healthcare. Only ⅕th of healthcare is financed publicly.
5A’s of consideration –
- Awareness or the lack of it
- Access or the lack of it
- Absence or the human power crisis in healthcare
- Affordability or the cost of healthcare
- Accountability or the lack of it
- Lack of primary healthcare services – This has only 15% of all morbidities for which people seek care.
- Supply side deficiencies – Poor health management skills, lack of appropriate training prevent delivery of the desired quality of health services.
- Inadequate funding – Expenditure on public health funding has been consistently low in India (approx 1.3% of GDP). As per OECD, India’s total out of pocket expenditure is around 2.3% of GDP.
- Overlapping jurisdiction – There is no single authority responsible for public health that is legally empowered to issue guidelines.
- Suboptimal public health system – It is a challenge to tackle non-communicable diseases for prevention and early detection.
Steps to be taken –
- Enabling preventive care – Conversion of primary healthcare centres to Health and Wellness Centres (HWC).
- It will act as the pillar of preventive care and gateway for access to secondary and tertiary health services. Through this, extra funding from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be mobilised.
- Bringing behavioural change – Ensure people eat right, sleep right, maintain good hygiene, exercise and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
- Cooperative federalism
- More funding
- Decentralisation (WASH – water, sanitation, hygiene) make in municipalities
- Creating a nodal health agency
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