The rapid transformation of India’s public health system over the past decades has not only been gradual but also an example for emerging nations of the world. The healthcare system in India is divided into two parts: urban and rural, and both have a huge difference in terms of treatment, not because of rare diseases, but because of different infrastructure and healthcare professionals. working health, among other systemic issues. Let’s take a look at the challenges that public and private healthcare systems are currently facing:
Inadequate infrastructure and fund allocation
The financial management deficit of the administration must be understood and balanced. In India, when it comes to health care, the disparity between urban and rural institutions is well known. Due to a lack of modern, quality health care in the public sector, most individuals prefer private treatment, which is out of reach for the majority of the rural population due to low incomes and lack of basic insurance coverage. Private healthcare in India, due to cost factors, is a luxury for a large portion of the population. Although expensive medical devices are deployed, critical infrastructure is not as efficient and up to par with the public healthcare system.
High out-of-pocket expenses remain a major concern
While public hospitals provide free health care, they suffer from their own infrastructure, equipment and staffing issues and are mostly concentrated in urban areas. It is well established that affordable and accessible health care in the public sector can significantly reduce reliance on private institutions. However, on the whole, facilities leave little choice but to access private facilities and incur substantial health costs. As a result, private institutions provide the majority of healthcare services and patients pay 65% of medical expenses out of pocket in India.
Increased adoption of health insurance could be a possible answer to the problem. On this front, government and private institutions must help each other to collaborate. The acceptance of digital insurance processing technologies associated with the healthcare ecosystem for faster turnaround of insurance processes would help drive the adoption of health insurance.
Less emphasis on preventive care
Preventive care receives little or no attention in India. In terms of suffering or financial loss, preventive care can truly address many difficulties for the patient. The current state is mainly due to a lack of awareness. Appropriate preventive treatment can help patients save money and minimize pressure on the country’s limited healthcare infrastructure. In addition, access to quality health care, especially in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns and villages, is a major barrier. Health care and diagnostic facilities are not freely accessible or inaccessible to the general public and there is less awareness of preventative health approaches.
The need of the hour is for industry and the government sector to work together to raise awareness of the value of preventative health care and what it can do for health and well-being, while ensuring that the message reaches a wide audience.
Health care made accessible and rapid diagnosis
As the old saying goes, “one stitch in time saves nine”. After preventive treatment, the next step is diagnosis, which, if carried out in time, can not only save money, but also live in certain circumstances. We often hear of cases diagnosed only at an advanced stage, when there is little that can be done to save the patient’s life. In India, the importance of diagnosis is often questioned.
Therefore, diagnostic facilities should expand at a rapid pace in order to be accessible to all segments of society.
The need for an efficient and trained workforce
The problem can be effectively addressed by building the capacity of existing education and training institutions while opening new ones in the long run.
Proactive health and public health policy
The most recent National Health Policy (PNS) 2017 emphasizes the “Health for All” approach to provide affordable health care for all. However, the 2017 NHP allows for much more flexibility. Ideally, public health policy should be geared towards proactive rather than reactive health care.
According to health care analysts, much attention and attention should be given to primary health care and more funds invested to provide quality and inexpensive services.
The central government has taken measures such as establishing new medical schools and hospitals, as well as increasing the number of doctors and paramedics. The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana is working to establish new AIIMS across the country. In addition, the government’s Ayushman Bharat program, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), the universal health insurance scheme, has received considerable attention.
Therefore, more initiatives need to be taken to build a strong health system across the country.
India’s healthcare industry is at a crossroads, and appropriate policy action will be important in shaping the future direction of the sector. The industry faces significant obstacles due to the country’s changing demographics, lack of financial resources and scarcity of human capital.
As the healthcare environment in the country remains challenging and distinct from Western countries, a more India-centric approach to healthcare technologies remains essential at this time.
-The author, Dr. Ajay Narang, is a Senior Microbiology Advisor and Operations Mentor at Redcliffe Labs. The opinions expressed are personal.
(Edited by : Priyanka Deshpande)
First post: STI