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India’s Healthcare growth

, November 26, 2013, 0 Comments

Healthcare  & Public Spending-MarketExpressHealth is wealth might be a simple statement, though its meaning is deep when though about. It is said that without physical and mental fitness, people won’t be able to work productively on the other hand while looking at the current scenario, where Globalization is the buzzword and people strive for excellence and head-to-head competition is seen all around, we find people neglecting their health like anything. This negligence leads to improper life conditions.

Healthcare industry is one such industry where tremendous development has occurred but not to the extent of its requirements. The importance given to manufacturing industry, services sector was far more than that of healthcare industry as a result of which we can see the average life expectancy of people in many countries to be below the world average.

Due to improper health facilities many lives are lost during the natural calamities like the tsunami, bird flu, hurricane, earthquakes etc. In such a case effective supply chain management needs to be implemented so that disasters, natural calamities, etc can be taken care and proper medical facilities reach the individuals easily at the right time, right place, right manner and at right price.

When seen factually we see that the life expectancy of people in almost 40 per cent of the countries globally is below average which is at 69.7 years. This is surely an alarming situation for the world.. (Data as of 2011, Source UN).

Healthcare & Public Spending -Countries Averagelife-MarketExpress

Taking a quick sneak peak at the reason behind low life expectancy we see that over 63 per cent of the deaths are caused due to non communicable disease i.e., the disease which is not transferred to people by infection. This to an extent proves the underdevelopment of health care facilities and also low government and individual spending on healthcare. (Data as of 2011, Source WHO)

Healthcare & Public Spending - DeathCause - MarketExpress

In India we see there is a big gap with the government expenditure on the healthcare. The spending on health by government is not significant and has been reducing as percentage of total spending with every year. This needs to be corrected in the short run of 5-7 years. Health is one of the burning issues in the overall planning for India; amidst the low government spending the public personal expenditure on healthcare is lowest as well (when compared to other nations). In order to encompass growth and ensure high life expectancy in near future it is required that the public spending be increased in the next 5-7 years.

In case of health care, the major gap of public health was never identified at the state and central level. As a result of which we see problems like low penetration of hospitals, increasing infant mortality rate, low availability of doctors, non availability of maternity care at the rural level, and many more. If we look at the total expenditure on health inclusive of expenditure at the individual level, the total cost comes to around 4 per cent of GDP.

Whereas the expenditure on healthcare for developed nations like US is close to 15 per cent. In India today we have half the doctors as required. Same is the case with nurses and other support staff too. Thus we need to double our power not only in terms of hospitals/medicines etc but also in terms of human resources which includes doctors, nurses, and other support staffs.

We need to understand that going by the current economic situation which is poised by high inflation, high downgrade risk, low jobs, political and financial instability and many more; the ability to tackle the problem of healthcare is limited in the short term period. Thus we need to have proper plan in place which will not only include creation of infrastructure but will have every aspect related to health care elucidated as under:

  1. Infrastructure –includes hospitals/nursing homes with facilities of ICU and many more
  2. Human Resource- availability of doctors/nurses etc.
  3. Equipments- Medical instruments/drugs/ etc.
  4. Awareness- Need to create awareness among public to increase healthcare spending
  5. Government expenditure
  6. Insurance

Thus we see, India is lagging behind significantly when it comes to health care and thus needs to put policy in place. One of the factors which will certainly drive the growth in 5-7 years would be increasing public spending which could be attained only with help of increasing awareness.