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A Closer Look at Healthcare in India: Conditions and Challenges

          An example of a country in this region that faces healthcare issues is India. Most residents in this country end up spending more on healthcare than they would on their daily provisions. For most people living in the urban areas of India, healthcare is now subject to political debate.           The Ministry of Health in India attempts to reduce the number of challenges plaguing the healthcare industry in India. They do this through initiating and managing national health programmes such as the Poor Patients-Financial Support programme. Here are some factors affecting the healthcare environment in India:

          Urban versus Rural Communities

          In India, 70 percent of the population resides in rural areas. In these areas, there is limited access to hospitals and healthcare clinics. These communities will then tend to rely on alternative medicines and rural health clinics. These services, compared to those in urban areas, do not have the best doctors, access to preventative medicine, and overall quality clinic faciltiies. Government programs attempt to target these rural communities through programmes such as the National Urban Health Mission. This program pays citizens for healthcare premiums. Unfortunately, the program has not been so effective to date.

          Need for More Accessible Payment Options

          It has been reported that only 5 percent of Indians are covered by healthcare policies. A key driver for the Indian healthcare industry is the amount of out-of-pocket expenditure taken on by patients. Yet, the market for Indian health insurance is on the rise. It is seen as one of the fastest growing segments of business within India.

          The Government is responsible for initiating several health insurance programmes for at-risk populations including the Community Health Insurance programme. These programmes are targeted to those citizens who are living below the poverty line and those who are senior citizens. They are managed by the government-run General Insurance Corporation. The design is made for people to pay cash upfront and then apply for reimbursement.

          A Growth in the Pharmaceutical Sectors

          According to Indian Brand Equity Foundation, the third leading exporter of pharmaceutical products is India. This means that they send out approximately 80% of drugs at low costs. This however doesn’t give people the advantage of getting access to medicines easily. There’s an increase in their ageing population and the government should keep some portion of the pharmaceutical sectors for people living there.

          Poor Medical Equipment and Devices

          The medical equipment sector in this country is growing daily. Until date, this sector faces many challenges of providing good quality machines and equipments. However, this has lead to an increase in the cost incurring schemes for most citizens. Patients go in to a hospital and end up paying more because of the services they will get. High standard means that patients have to pay more. The government should work on keeping a standard rate for every citizen so that the decline in life numbers can reduce.

          Citizens living in urban areas in India don’t face many of these issues and are able to enjoy good and affordable healthcare services. However, a cut down in the healthcare reforms all across the country could help most people with their struggle of getting their health back.

          Considering these factors, communities in India have a lot to overcome when considering healthcare options and necessities. The government has put several programmes into place to try to set these healthcare issues right. In due time, these programmes must be revisited and reassessed as there still many weaknesses within the system. Only then may Indian citizens see options in healthcare access.            

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