Dec 26, 2012 09:54 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Why healthcare in India is far from being affordable

By any yardstick the ratios are pathetic. There are just 0.77 beds for every 1,000 people in India compared to one bed for every 90 people in Japan and if went by the WHO Standard then India should have one bed for every 450 people.

By any yardstick the ratios are pathetic. There are just 0.77 beds for every 1,000 people in India compared to one bed for every 90 people in Japan and if went by the WHO Standard then India should have one bed for every 450 people.

Even more depressing is the doctor patient ratio. India has 0.6 doctors for every 1,000 people and when you look at nurses and paramedic staff ratios, one almost feels helpless and the final straw is for the population of more than 1 billion there are just 13,000 hospitals in the country.

Little wonder the scene at the hospitals is akin to the Indian railway stations; overcrowded, patients endlessly waiting for their turns perhaps the root cause of this problem lies in the level of investments made by the government in the healthcare sector.

It is just 1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) compared to 9.7 percent among the UN Member countries and 17 percent in the United States of America. Ironically the private sector spends 4.3 percent of the GDP or in other words the contribution of the private sector is 75 percent of the total healthcare spent perhaps this is why the cost of healthcare in India is very prohibitive.

Now the Planning Commission has woken up to these hard realities. For the 12th Five Year Plan – 2012 to 2017 it aims to increase spending in the healthcare sector to 2.5 percent of the GDP from the current 1 percent. Experts feel that even this doubling of the numbers will not exactly make healthcare affordable or accessible to the teeming millions. 

Link of India Healthcare Award Ceremony: http://www.moneycontrol.com/video/special-videos/india-healthcare-awards-2011-_655653.html

To know more watch the accompanying video…

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