Health Care Essay

1724 words - 7 pages

Healthcare in India follows universal healthcare system run by the constituent states and territories if India. Every state in India promotes health and wellness by raising the level of nutrition and standard of living of its people and improves public health. Government hospitals, some of which are among the best hospitals in India, provide treatment at taxpayer expense where drugs are offered free of charge in these hospitals. Government hospitals provide treatment either free or at minimal charges. For example, according to Wikipedia, For example, an outpatient card at AIIMS (one of the best hospitals in India) costs a one-time fee of rupees 10 (around 20 cents US) and thereafter ...view middle of the document...

PHCs are non-existent in most places, due to poor pay and scarcity of resources. Patients generally prefer private health clinics.
Primary health care is provided by city and district hospitals and rural primary health centers (PHCs). These hospitals provide treatment free of cost. Primary care is focused on immunization, prevention of malnutrition, pregnancy, childbirth, postnatal care, and treatment of common illnesses. Patients who receive specialized care or have complicated illnesses are referred to secondary (often located in district and sub-district headquarters) and tertiary care hospitals (located in district and state headquarters or those that are teaching hospital.
According to Wikipedia, he Indian healthcare industry is seen to be growing at a rapid pace and is expected to become a US$280 billion industry by 2020. The Indian healthcare market was estimated at US$35 billion in 2007 and is expected to reach over US$70 billion by 2012 and US$145 billion by 2017. According to the Investment Commission of India the healthcare sector has experienced phenomenal growth of 12 percent per annum in the last 4 years. Rising income levels and a growing elderly population are all factors that are driving this growth. In addition, changing demographics, disease profiles and the shift from chronic to lifestyle diseases in the country has led to increased spending on healthcare delivery.
Even so, the vast majority of the country suffers from a poor standard of healthcare infrastructure that has not kept up with the growing economy. Despite having centers of excellence in healthcare delivery, these facilities are limited and are inadequate in meeting the current healthcare demands. Nearly one million Indians die every year due to inadequate healthcare facilities and 700 million people have no access to specialist care and 80% of specialists live in urban areas.
In order to meet manpower shortages and reach world standards India would require investments of up to $20 billion over the next 5 years. Forty percent of the primary health centers in India are understaffed. According to WHO statistics there are over 250 medical colleges in the modern system of medicine and over 400 in the Indian system of medicine and homeopathy (ISM&H). India produces over 25,000 doctors annually in the modern system of medicine and a similar number of ISM&H practitioners, nurses and other professionals. Better policy regulations and the establishment of public private partnerships are possible solutions to the problem of manpower shortage.
Central government efforts at influencing public health have focused on the five-year plans, on coordinated planning with the states, and on sponsoring major health programs. Government expenditures are jointly shared by the central and state governments. Goals and strategies are set through central-state government consultations of the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare. Central government efforts are administered by...

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