PROBLEMS IN INDIAN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

Despite its rapid economic growth, India has witnessed a surge in diseases capable of adversely affecting the health of its population. A continuing rise in communicable diseases and a spurt in non-communicable or “lifestyle” diseases, which accounted for half of all deaths in 2015, up from 42 percent in 2001-03. Meanwhile, healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors, both in terms of revenue and employment. Indian companies are entering into merger and acquisitions with domestic and foreign companies to drive growth and gain new markets. The hospital industry in India stood at Rs 4 trillion (US$ 61.79 billion) in 2017 and is expected to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16-17 per cent to reach Rs 8.6 trillion (US$ 132.84 billion) by 2023. Indians met more than 62 percent of their health expenses from their personal savings, called “out-of-pocket expenses”. While the private sector dominates healthcare delivery across the country, a majority of the population living below the poverty line (BPL) continues to rely on the under-financed and short-staffed public sector for its healthcare needs, as a result of which these remain unmet. Moreover, the majority of healthcare professionals happen to be concentrated in urban areas where consumers have higher paying power, leaving rural areas underserved. India meets the global average in the number of physicians, but 74 percent of its doctors cater to a third of the urban population, or no more than 442 million people, according to a KPMG report.
Some of the key roadblocks, then, for India’s healthcare industry:
• Not Enough Spent on Healthcare
As per data from 2014, India spends just 4.7% of GDP on healthcare, whereas China spends 5.6 times more, with the U.S. 125 times more. Around 62% of health expenses incurred by Indians was met using personal savings, called “out-of-pocket expenses,” compared with 13.4% in the U.S., 10% in the UK and 54% in China.
• Urban Vs. Rural Divide
According to a KPMG report, with the higher spending power of consumers in towns and cities the majority of Indian healthcare professionals are concentrated around urban areas, leaving rural areas under served. While India meets the global average in number of physicians, nearly 75% of dispensaries, 60% of hospitals and 80% of doctors are located in urban areas. Doctors cater to a third of the urban population, or no more than 442 million people.
• Poor Health Infrastructure
There is one government hospital bed for every 2,046 individuals, one government doctor for every 10,189 people, and one state-run hospital for every 90,343 citizens respectively. In comparison to these dismal numbers, the US has 24.5 doctors for every 10,000 people and one hospital bed for every 345 citizens. India also has a shortage of specialist doctors at rural community health centres (CHCs), according to Indian government health and family welfare statistics.
• Low levels of Health Insurance
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has stated that India’s per capita healthcare expenditure is one of the lowest levels of in the world. What makes this fact more dismal is government’s contribution to insurance stands at roughly 32%, as opposed to 83.5% in the UK. 76% of Indians do not have health insurance, this results in the high out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the citizens of this country.
• Diagnosis of Illness
Sometimes diagnosis of illness also becomes a challenge for some untrained doctors and if in case they prescribe the wrong medicine, then it goes against the patient and have fatal effects.

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