Top 5 Healthcare Challenges in India
Rising population and medical inflation are often cited as major healthcare challenges in India. Looking ahead, these challenges are going to become even more challenging. As per a UN report, India is poised to overtake its neighbor, China, to become the most populous country in the world in the next decade. Willis Survey suggests India may record 10.50% medical inflation in 2019. Thus, these two major issues are going to be troublesome in the short-run as well as the long run as far as healthcare is concerned. But that’s not it. Apart from these constant impediments, there are other issues plaguing Indian healthcare as well. Read ahead to know the top 5 healthcare challenges in India.
Home remedies are often the first response to health issues. While they might be productive for minor issues, home remedies can be further damaging in cases where prompt medical attention is required. Also, blind-faith on the videos and articles easily available online can be detrimental.
Unpredictable medical expenditure pushes people into poverty’s sinking sand. Once in, it is difficult to come out of it. With exhausted savings and towering loans, there is very little that such families can do to emerge out of this emergency-induced catastrophe. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes this problem and thus, its theme for World Health Day 2019 is Universal Health Coverage. This includes creating awareness about equal access to health services for everyone. Such out-of-pocket medical expenses are a major healthcare challenge in India.
Subsidies and the increase in welfare budgets are some of the activities undertaken by the authorities for citizens’ benefit. The government keeps churning out public welfare schemes from time to time but are they enough for the rising population? Are there enough skilled medical professionals across the country to cater to the health requirements of the citizens? Is technology leveraged optimally to ensure rural penetration for better awareness regarding precautionary measures?
There is a massive gulf when it comes to urban and rural infrastructure with regards to healthcare. Physicians, dispensaries, hospitals, etc. are clustered in cities whereas rural areas are left unserved to a great extent. The rural infrastructure is so worrisome that there is only one government hospital bed for around 2000 people in India.
Low Medical Insurance Coverage
When it comes to low per capita healthcare expenditure across the globe, India features among the lowest. A Forbes article states, more than 75% of Indians do not have medical insurance. Absence of the financial cushioning provided by medical insurance results in exhaustion of savings in order to tackle medical issues.
As it is evident from the above-mentioned points, major healthcare challenges in India are interlinked. Solving one or two issues won’t be enough. A strategic level change needs to be implemented that can tackle all these challenges. Perhaps, the emergence of digital infrastructure can play a huge role in intensifying the drive to find a solution to overcome these mammoth challenges. Digitization can be perceived as an enabler that can play a critical part in overcoming major healthcare hurdles in India.