Healthcare has been a priority agenda for the Indian government for a long time now. The healthcare system is a layered structure distributed till the Panchayat level. The nation has built medical facilities from multi-speciality hospitals to public health centres to cater the rising healthcare demand of its citizens. Although, India is a destination for medical tourism, but when it comes to achieving the healthcare goals, ironically it remains unsatisfactory even after 70 years of independence.
Fiinovation reviews that in India parents aspiring their children to become doctors is quite high. In fact, the profession is widely acknowledged as both noble and wealthy. Yet, as per the WHO norm of doctor-citizen ratio of 1:1000, the nation is short of approximately 500,000 doctors. The civic apathy is often visible when helpless citizens, especially in the rural areas has to suffer significantly, sometimes by giving their life. Several incidents like in Odisha where a man was forced to slung his wife’s dead body over his shoulders and carried it 10 kms highlighting the mockery of the medical system in India. In another incident, a child died in Kanpur after being denied admission in the hospital.
Such incidents highlights the irony of the society where at one hand so many people aspire to become doctors, yet situation is even worse in countries like Vietnam, Algeria and Pakistan. Fiinovation reviews that illegal capitation fees in private colleges, inequality in health-services facilities between rural and urban India and disconnect between the public-health and medical-education systems are issues which needs urgent focus.
On the part of the government, it can ensure that there is strict implementation of laws. It also needs to ensure a transformational change in the availability of doctors. A look back in history suggests that earlier there use to be only one doctor available for many villages for medical assistance. Today, the situation hasn’t improved much and villagers often have to visit the nearby urban areas to receive treatment.
Therefore, to understand the problems related to healthcare in India adequate measures needs to be taken. Fiinovation suggests that the corporations can also contribute their CSR funds towards the development of healthcare facilities in rural areas. Usually, the marginalised sections become vulnerable to diseases and outbreaks during the monsoons. Preventive healthcare needs to be promoted to such situations. Additionally, the cleanliness initiatives promoted by the government are also the best method to reduce the increasing healthcare burden of India.
Apart from this, Fiinovation urges the doctors to spend more time serving the needs of the poor in the rural areas. Through CSR the corporations can also fund the medical institutions as the fees in the private medical colleges are touching the 2 crore mark which is becoming a major concern for the rising imbalances. Some people argue that if someone is paying Rs 2 crore for his/her education, it is obvious that their focus would be more on the recovery of money rather than contributing towards society.
Therefore, let us hope that in the coming years, India will be better positioned to deal with the problems related to healthcare. Not only India should achieve the health targets in the Sustainable Development Goals, but ensure that it becomes one of the healthiest countries in the world.
By Rahul Choudhury
Media & Communications, Fiinovation