India and its basic health infrastructure
We are good and bad at healthcare
According to report prepared by the World Health Organization India is at lowly position of 112 among the 190 countries. That is not a healthy situation according to India’s overall growth story in total growth. Generally speaking, there is a wide gap as far facilities available to urban and rural Indian population. However to understand the basics we shall have to look at five different aspects of Indian healthcare system.
The difference in rural and urban health facilities- India is undoubtedly doing better in health sector but the overall expenses on health are still only 4.2% of the national GDP. To give you an idea, America spends 18% on healthcare sector.
The effective payment system- There is no effective payment system in Indian health sector therefore more than 75% in India are in cash transactions. The fact that that less than 5% population of India has any kind of health insurance should give you a better idea.
Lack of infrastructure in health- It’s a fact that more than 7% children die before the age of 5 and to give you a better idea the number of such deaths are far below 1% in America. The reason for such a bad situation in India is the government spends less than 30% of allocated budget. There is an immediate need of more hospitals, diagnostic labs and health IT system.
Indian medicine industry
Fortunately there is no shortage of medicine industry in India and we stand at number three as medicines exporters in the world ranking with more than 80% medicines produced in lower price range under generic section. The future of Indian medicine sector has a bright future but we shall have to make sure that the profit of such a mass production goes to Indian population.
India lacks production of healthcare instruments- India is still far behind in healthcare instrument sector so far. However, the production of instruments is on the up equal to the health insurance sector going up. If India can correct these five basic problems from the system the health of the country can come back to track.
India and Medical Tourism
It’s a controversial fact that not all Indians are getting the benefits of advance health facilities growing at a rapid rate but medical tourism in our country is increasing by leaps and bounds for last decade or so. India is expecting a fare share of the world’s total revenue from medical tourism sector to reach to a figure of $8 billion from current figure of $3 billion within next 3-4 years taking us to top of the global list in medical tourism sector.
Currently our growth rate in medical tourism is increasing at 30 to 35% per annum with investment coming from large Indian and foreign players in the healthcare industry from all over the world investing not only in metro cities but class B and C towns and tourist centers draws a very rosy picture. The corporate sector has found medical tourism as a lucrative business with possibilities in allied business opportunities like hotels and sightseeing therefore spending large amounts in this sector.
There is another factor that has played its role that treatment in India is much cheaper compared to developed countries in Europe and America. At a rough estimate the cost of heart and bones treatment in India is almost 80% cheaper than developed countries and dental treatments cost only 25% and all other surgeries are 60-65% cheaper what it cost to patients in European countries or in America.
India with its super specialist doctors, some of them working as visiting doctors in different countries all over the world with undisputed reputation are doing well in drawing the patients from every part of the globe. Indian health tourism is working out plans offering their consumers a package deal that includes medical expenses, visa arrangements, airport transfer, hotel bills and sightseeing. We are expecting that our government will provide more facilities and tax rebates to medical tourism that will bring more revenue for developing the Indian overall health services in coming annual budget.
Online Health Care
Despite of all the innovative developments we are still way behind western countries in medical healthcare sector. Although, online health facilities are available to Indian users in metros and bigger cities that will cut the need of going out for many useful facilities like online availability of medicines, online blood tests, physio-services and the best of all the availability of in home service for treatment instead of going to a hospital.
I was searching for few such websites and found few useful references on a Health Care Portal that all such health care portals in west provides doctors, physiotherapists, also provides healthcare to senior citizens and medicines to patients under a package deal. It sure helps save them from many problems including an infection a patient might catch in a hospital. After all 1 in 15 patients get an additional problem of caching an infection in a hospital only.
There is another useful facility available to serious patients in bigger cities of our country as the patients do not have to go to a hospital for availing ICU facilities but the ICU facilities are provided at patient’s residence itself at only 20-30% cost compared to what you have to spend in a hospital. If anyone is interested to check the facts he can read them here, (Times of India is a leading English language Newspaper of India)
We all go for Health Checkup which is something that we all face and when the doctor hands the prescription of long list of tests, I think our doctors leave nothing to chance but they make sure you are tested immediately for everything. But the fact that most people in India have no government medical cover or health insurance for such tests.
Apart from few tests in government hospitals most patients find it a tough proposition in terms of money involved on all these tests besides the waiting for their turn at pathology labs is another time consuming affair. Now a number of online healthcare companies have started providing this facility at patients’ home with special discounts on a simple message to their website or App is a big relief. Here is An Android App Ausodhyatmika-Know ur medicine available on Google store for detailed information on medicines
Image source https://pixabay.com/en/medical-appointment-doctor-563427/ (Free image source)
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