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Challenges faced by the Indian healthcare system

The general health advisory may not solve the root cause of the illness and may invariably add up to an escalated cost owing to a prolonged treatment process.

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The robust transformation of India’s Public Healthcare System witnessed in the past few decades has not only been progressive but also an example for the developing economies of the world. The healthcare system in India can be divided into two parts viz urban and rural areas and both have a significant differential gap in terms of treatment, not because of uncommon diseases but due to lack of adequate infrastructure and health experts, besides several other challenges in the system. However, the objective in this article is to bring out the challenges which the public and private healthcare systems are currently confronting with.

Fund Allocation & Inadequate Infra

The gap in fund management by the administrations should be understood and be balanced. Not enough funds are allocated for public healthcare in India and the inequality in urban and rural facilities is well known. Due to the lack of modern quality healthcare in the public sector, generally, people prefer private healthcare which is not affordable for most of the rural population due to lower-income and lack of basic insurance policy. Private healthcare in India is a premium and expensive affair for a large section of society. Notably expensive medical device is procured but basic infra is missing in public healthcare system.

Optimal Insurance based service a Challenge

Insurance as a concept and its usefulness is still not understood in India due to which the insurance market in the country remains largely under-penetrated. Awareness campaigns and the government’s schemes such as Ayushman Bharat, Employment State Insurance, etc. have immensely helped in bringing insurance inclusiveness and enabling a large population in India to avail financial security cover on healthcare costs. However, with a large number of centre and state-specific insurance schemes comes the healthcare delivery and service challenges for the public sector healthcare system.

Less emphasis on Preventive Care

Like insurance, very little to no focus is given to preventive care in India. Preventive care can actually solve a lot of problems for the patient in terms of misery or financial losses. Lack of awareness is a key reason for the current situation. Proper preventive care can help save huge costs for the patient and reduce the burden on the limited healthcare infra system in the country. In current times of COVID19, one can see a lot of people breaking lockdown rules and not even following the basics of masks and gloves, despite government running campaigns on preventive care for the virus. The general health advisory may not solve the root cause of the illness and may invariably add up to an escalated cost owing to a prolonged treatment process. The need of the hour is to increase the number of specialised medical experts in the country.

Delay in Diagnosis of Illnesses

As goes an old saying, A stitch in time saves nine, post preventive care, the next step is the diagnosis, if done in time can not only help save cost but also lives in some cases. We often hear of cases being diagnosed only at an advanced stage when very little can be done to save the life. The importance of diagnosis is mostly doubted in India.

No Support for Medical Research

Indian players so far continue to be the followers of global trends and contract manufacturers for MNCs at best, while not much impetus is given to R&D, and cutting-edge technology-led new initiatives. Even when it comes to updating the knowledge of new discoveries in the medical field we are far behind. The medical professionals and pharmaceutical companies should keep themselves updated with knowledge of the latest development in the field of the medical sector that will help them to cater the right services to patients with minimum risk. Having state of the art technology requires huge cost. On the other hand, adopting ‘Made in India’ medical devices which are more reliable and economical will help the administrator to balance the fund profile and save a huge amount of the capital which can be used for providing basic facilities to the patients.

Cost & Transparency

The most important aspect and perhaps which touches most of us is that the cost and transparency of treatment. In an ideal situation it should be like a menu card in a restaurant; where ingredients and rates of services are mentioned in advance, so the patient does not get surprised on receipt of bills. Besides patients can decide whether to take those services or not; looking at his/her budget. Besides these, patients can also decide whether to opt for those services or not; keeping their budget in mind.

Serving the Nation by providing services empathetically, without any vested interest can give great joy which is a reward in itself for the medical professional and pharmaceutical companies.

“The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease"- Sir William Osler

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Mr. Satyendra Johari

Founder & Chairman, Johari Digital Healthcare Ltd

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