The Constitution of India guarantees the Right to Life, but the citizens and authorities are responsible for upholding these rights. The new Government policies have augmented the healthcare sector for it to grow by CAGR of 15 per cent, but there are differences with the ground reality. This is also included in the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations, however, individual growth of nations is fiercely inevitable. India ranks globally the best in the generic medicine industry. Also, it is very important when it comes to the economic prosperity of out nation. Here are few highlights regarding India’s health conditions:
1. Healthcare market: Estimated market of US$ 65 billion includes the healthcare delivery of hospitals, nursing homes and diagnostics centres, and pharmaceuticals. The Indian Medical Tourism currently at $1 billion is growing at the rate of 18 per cent. However, a major disappointment is that India spends only 1 per cent of its GDP in health sector whereas China and the US spends 3% and 8.3% respectively. Private sector is dominant with groups like Apollo Hospitals and Fortis Healthcare.
2. Government Initiatives: The Government of India and Sweden had signed a Memorandum of Understanding 5 years ago, related to research and innovation in the healthcare industry, and this cooperation has led to better quality healthcare. Mr J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, wishes to protect children between 1-19 from intestinal worms through the National Deworming initiative. The National Health Assurance Mission by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is another robust initiative for free treatment and medicines.
3. Investments: As per the data of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, the health industry has received foreign direct investment (FDI) worth US$ 2,793.72 million between April 2000 and January 2015. As a matter of fact, 100% FDI through automatic route is permitted for the hospitals sector.
a. Pacific Healthcare of Singapore- Joint Venture with Vital Healthcare in Hyderabad
b. Columbia Asia Group- a Seattle-based hospital services company
c. Wockhardt Hospitals
d. Steris- a US-based medical equipment company
e. Amcare Labs- an affiliate of Johns Hopkins International of the US- JV with the Apollo Group
4. Popular Hospitals: Hospitals that offer state-of-art infrastructure with global-level medical facilities are
Manipal Group of Hospitals
Woodlands Multispeciality Hospital
Jitendra Narayan Ray Sishu Seva Bhavan and General Hospital
Apollo Group of Hospitals
Suguna Ramaiah Hospital
Chinmaya Mission Hospital
P. D. Hinduja National Hospital
5. Statistics: Some disturbing facts about Indian health situation are the chronic issue of Infant Mortality Rate and Maternal Mortality Rate that is even lesser that many low-income countries. We also have problems like
low bed density
doctor-to-patient ratio in rural areas
low budget expenditure
below standard infrastructure for a larger population
inadequate and under-trained staffs
lack of public private collaboration
6. Improvement required:
a. Government must provide effective health insurance to the poor, along with payments or incentives through social welfare programmes.
b. Resources required for the emancipation of this sector, such as number of trained doctors and medical staffs, as well as infrastructure gap must be taken seriously. Also, generic medicines availability must be made more rampant.
c. Proper payment to AYUSH, SHG, ASHA or other medical practitioners must be made mandatory for far outreach of health awareness and prevention.
d. Any malpractice or treatment discrepancies must be strictly punishable and monitored at any cost.
e. Increase in the health budget allocation, to cover the entire population in need.
7. Initiatives: Some policies that have been created to boost healthcare are
National Rural Health Mission
National Urban Health Mission (NUHM)
These programmes are being implemented in various areas in partnership with private entities to reach to the poorest section of people, with special emphasis to women and children.