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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Health sector in India is faced with multiple problems. In light of this statement discuss the challenges faced by the health sector in India. (150 Words)

    21 Sep, 2022 GS Paper 3 Science & Technology

    Approach

    • Start your answer by giving a brief about healthcare sector in India.
    • Discuss the challenges with the Healthcare sector in India.
    • Conclude your answer by giving a way forward.

    Introduction

    The Healthcare industry comprises hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance and medical equipment.

    India’s healthcare delivery system is categorised into two major components - public and private.

    The government (public healthcare system) comprises limited secondary and tertiary care institutions in key cities and focuses on providing basic healthcare facilities in the form of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in rural areas.

    The private sector provides a majority of secondary, tertiary, and quaternary care institutions with major concentration in metros, tier-I and tier-II cities.

    Main Body

    Challenges with the Health Sector

    • Inadequate Access: The health sector in India is highly regulated which leads to the situations like inflated bills that discourage the common people from accessing medical facilities.
    • Low Budget: India’s public expenditure on healthcare is only 2.1% of GDP in 2021-22 while Japan, Canada and France spend about 10% of their GDP on public healthcare. Even neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan have over 3% of their GDP going towards the public healthcare system.
    • Lack of Preventive Care: Preventive care is undervalued in India, despite the fact that it has been shown to be quite beneficial in alleviating a variety of difficulties for patients in terms of unhappiness and financial losses.
    • Lack of Medical Research: In India, R&D and cutting-edge technology-led new projects receive little attention.
    • Policymaking: Policymaking is undoubtedly crucial in providing effective and efficient healthcare services. In India, the issue is one of supply rather than demand, and policymaking can help.
    • Shortage in Professionals: In India, there is a shortage of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. According to a study presented in Parliament by a minister, India is short 600,000 doctors (2022).
    • Paucity of Resources: Doctors work in extreme conditions ranging from overcrowded out-patient departments, inadequate staff, medicines and infrastructure.

    Way Forward

    • There is an urgent need to improve the infrastructure of public hospitals, which are overburdened as a result of India's large population.
    • Initia tives like Ayushman Bharat Jan Arogya Yojana (ABJAY) and National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) should be encouraged and emphasized to extend the reach of health facilities.
    • The government should encourage private hospitals by engaging them through Public Private Partnership (PPP) because they make a significant contribution.
    • The difficulties in the health sector are severe and cannot be tackled just by the government, the private sector must also engage.
    • To improve the sector's capabilities and efficiency, more medical personnel must be inducted.
    • In order to connect the dots in the health system, technology should be used.
      • Medical gadgets in hospitals and clinics, mobile health apps, wearables, and sensors are only a few examples of technology that should be included in this area.

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