Sunday, July 05, 2020

Bad Health in India

The pathetic state of healthcare in India is a lived experience for most Indians. The pandemic has only served to exacerbate the massive toll it takes on citizens. 
India spends just over 1 percent of its GDP on public health, ranking 170th out of 188 countries on this count.
 In public hospitals, the number of beds available per 1,000 people is 0.5 and 12 states, which account for roughly 70 percent of the country's population, lie below the national average. The number of ventilators and critical-care beds is far lower.
Rural India is the worst equipped when it comes to public healthcare, with certain areas lacking even basic and primary healthcare. Where care is available, standards are abysmally low. 
A Lancet study estimated that 4,300 Indians die every single day due to the poor quality of healthcare in non-pandemic times.
 70 percent of health costs are paid by citizens out of pocket, not by the state budget, due to which at least 7 percent of the country's population is pushed below the poverty line each year. While private healthcare is more reliable on average than public healthcare, particularly in larger cities, overall its quality is drastically inconsistent.
Over the last two months, several private hospitals have taken to profiteering - charging rates unaffordable even for the middle class. Others have been turning patients away or lying about the availability of beds. A large part of the blame, again, lies with the state for having failed to regulate healthcare in the private sector effectively.

No comments: