Poor Healthcare in India and the Crisis of the Nation

HEALTH

Increased privatisation and the growing medical economy have generated high-end medical care for the rich and lack of proper medical care for the ordinary masses. The low performance of India as far as healthcare is concerned is an issue of great concern in our times.

 The New Leam Staff

India ranks 145th among 195 countries as far as the health sector and disparity between states in concerned. Indian states like Goa and Kerala had the highest scores while Assam and Uttar Pradesh scored the lowest. The study was published by the Global Burden of Disease in The Lancet.

The study made use of an index on which 32 causes of death that could be prevented with adequate measures were listed. Each of the countries was given a HealthCare access and quality (HAQ) score between 0-100.

India’s HAQ score was recorded to be 41.2. The study also examined regional disparity within a nation’s boundaries as far as healthcare was concerned. India and China had the widest disparities and Japan had the narrowest disparity.India has witnessed improvements since 1990, the HAQ score was lower than 50 for 23 of the 32 causes of death.

Particularly low were scores for cancer, neonatal deaths and adverse medical treatment, and chronic kidney ailments. It has been asserted that India’s bad score is because of inadequate medical infrastructure, a lot of practioners, lack of awareness and other infrastructural constraints. This score throws light on the fact that the health system is undeveloped in the nation and while centre funded schemes have provided health access in some areas; quality has not improved in many states. The global average HAQ score was 54.4.

In a nation like India where for a long time the health of the public has been a greater concern, it is paradoxical that even after 70 years of independence we have not been able to create a sustainable infrastructure.

The regional disparity as far as healthcare in concerned is also a concern that must be addressed- the lack of basic healthcare in rural sector has meant that many of the common diseases do not get treated and thus people suffer. Lack of hygiene in hospitals, lack of trained and equipped staff, medical equipment, expired medicines and lack of awareness have made health a neglected arena.

The scores bring forward the pathological state of Indian healthcare where there is the growth of private sector and multispecialty hospitals catering to the elite and there are municipal hospitals where the basic services are not available. The withdrawal of the state from public facilities has meant that the market creates services which only the rich can afford and negates the demands of the masses. The state should make it its urgent priority to develop the health infrastructure of the nation so that all individuals can access it.

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