Thursday, 31 March 2016

How to revamp India’s health care system?

Dr. Devendra Kothari
Population and Development Analyst
Forum for Population Action

 Leading medical journal, The Lancet, noted that India is sidelining health sector. In an interview, Richard Horton, editor-in- chief of The Lancet, said that "health is an issue of national security" for India, but the government “is not taking it seriously”. Despite substantial improvements in some health indicators in the past decade, India contributes disproportionately to the global burden of disease, with health indicators that compare unfavorably with other middle-income countries and India's regional neighbors. Large health disparities between states, between rural and urban populations, and across social classes persist. A large proportion of the population is impoverished because of high out-of-pocket health-care expenditures and suffers the adverse consequences of poor quality of care.[1] The post  makes the case not only for more resources but for a radically new architecture for India's health-care system. India needs to adopt an integrated national health-care system built around a strong public primary care system with a clearly articulated supportive role for the private and indigenous sectors.

For further reading, see post entitled: India needs efficient healthcare system for overall development, No.  70, dated June 30, 2015

[1] Refer article: Vikram Patel and others. 2015. Assuring health coverage for all in India, The Lancet, vol. 386(10011), p. 2422-2435