Healthcare equity in Urban India – UPSC GS1

Context: Azim Premji University has released a report titled “Healthcare equity in urban India”.
Findings:
  • Urban Population: A third of India’s population lives in urban areas. There was a rapid growth in this segment from about 18% (1960) to 28.53% (2001) and 34% (in 2019).
  • Rise in Urban poverty: Close to 30% of people living in urban areas are poor.
  • Declining life expectancy: Life expectancy among the poorest sections of society in urban areas when compared to the richest economic groups is lower by 9.1 years and 6.2 years for men and women respectively.
  • Bad Urban health governance: There is a chaotic urban governance due to a) Overlapping administrative jurisdictions such as that of municipal corporations (urban local bodies) and state health services and b) multiplicity of healthcare providers both within and outside the government without coordination.
  • Lack of research on Urban Healthcare: Urban healthcare has received relatively less research and policy attention.
Recommendations:
  • Strengthening community participation and governance.
  • Building a comprehensive and dynamic database on the health and nutrition status, including comorbidities, of the diverse, vulnerable populations.
  • Strengthening healthcare provisioning through the National Urban Health Mission, especially for primary healthcare services.
  • Putting in place policy measures to reduce the financial burden of the poor.
  • A better mechanism for coordinated public healthcare services and better governed private healthcare institutions.