India is amongst a few of those countries having a universal healthcare system. A basic healthcare system is a one where the level of nutrition and the standard of living are raised for the people concentrating majorly on improving public health. Contrary to the above fact, Healthcare in India has always been a major challenge. The government has faced various difficulties in bringing sufficient healthcare facilities to the general public.
The emergence of the private health sector has gained popularity better than the public health sector. Both urban and rural households now rely upon the former for its better services and availability of resources. According to the National Family Health Survey-3 the private medical healthcare sector is the primary source of healthcare in over 65-70% households in the country. This emerging healthcare market tends to being overpowered by the private healthcare sector. In India the life expectancy is 64/67 (m/f) years while the infant mortality rate is 46 per 1000 lives. With such statistics, failures in healthcare system are evident.
Relying upon public and private health care sectors varies significantly between several states. There are quite a few reasons that account for relying on private rather than public sector. The main reason at the national level is poor quality of care in the public sector, with more than 57% of households pointing to this as the reason for a preference for private health care. Other major reasons are distance of the public sector facility, long waiting queues, and inconvenient hours of operation.
Healthcare industry in India is a collective dose of various sectors within the Indian economic system which extensively provides goods and services to treat patients with therapeutic, pre-emptive, rehabilitative and palliative care for both short as well as a long term. This industry is trained and equipped to provide health needs of individuals and populations. The industry should include teams which have both professionals as well as paraprofessionals.
The healthcare industry is considered to be one of the most evasive and largest growing industries in the world. In India healthcare providers are growing at a relatively higher pace, but are still considered to lack the basic business strength. Though the government programmes have helped the healthcare market to tame a few challenges the country’s performance on many health metrics is poor. The IMR (infant mortality rate) is seven times that of the United States and three times that of China. Almost 75% of babies in rural areas are born without any medical aid of skilled health personnel. India has 63 million diabetics and 2.5 million cancer sufferers, the majority of whom will not be diagnosed, much less treated. Seventy per cent of India’s 20 million blind people could be helped with simple surgery – ‘if’ it were available. Less than five per cent of the 2.5 million Indians annually who need heart surgery get it. Although India has 750,000 doctors and 1.1 million nurses, the practitioner density is about 25% that of America and less than half that of China. And there is a severe shortage of hospital beds and medical facilities- another unseen situation.
The only way out of this pothole for the Indian healthcare industry is by aiming at provision of better standards of healthcare facilities to be affordable by all, in the coming decade. Fortunately, there are a few hospitals in India which have adopted innovative ways to seep their way out of this discouraging situation. The idea of focussing on serving both the poor and wealthy patients equally will turn out to be an essential element.
Existence of proper medical facilities like test equipments, skilled personnel, availability of affordable medicines and existence of interactive medical aid programmes will incorporate an effective healthcare industry. India needs these facilities in almost every possible public and private healthcare facility.