Healthcare System issues

  • The death of more than 60 children in the span of a few days in a major referral hospital in Uttar Pradesh has jolted the conscience of the nation.
  • According to the latest KPMG, around 80 percent doctors and 25 percent dispensaries cater to just 29 percent population.
  • The dismal expenditure of just 1.15 percent of GDP by the Centre and 0.75 percent by the States.
Problems with current healthcare system:
  • Infrastructure largely insufficient with hospitals and healthcare professionals, including public and private, fall short of demand.
  • Low Expenditure. Moreover, the way these are disbursed and utilized by States further adds to the problems, with considerable delay. The funds for skilling health professionals are not utilized due to lack of resources.
  • The governance deficit and regulatory capture, due to myriads laws and regulations along with widespread corruptions in both public and private spheres further aggravates the situation.
  • The lack of awareness and monitoring of the diseases as well as steps to eradicate them. For example success of eradication of Polio can be attuned to awareness and participation from all stakeholders from providers to beneficiaries along with proper government monitoring.


Solutions and health policy:
The National Health Policy, 2017, was recently approved by the Union Cabinet which aims at providing healthcare in an “assured manner” to all. The key highlights of healthcare policy are:
  • The policy advocates ‘Assurance based Approach’ with focus on preventive and promotive healthcare.
  • The policy recommends liking the health card to primary care facility for a defined package of services anywhere in the country.
  • The policy advocates a ‘Patient centric Approach’ by setting up a separate, empowered medical tribunal for speedy resolution of disputes/complaints regarding standards of care, prices of services, negligence and unfair practices etc.
  • It provides for the extensive use of Digital tools for improving the efficiency and outcome of the healthcare system.
  • It envisages the expenditure of 2.5 percent of the GDP by 2025.
  • It calls for Universal, easily accessible, affordable primary healthcare with free healthcare to victims of gender violence, geriatric, palliative and rehabilitative care along with free drug diagnostics along with low cost pharmacy chains(Jan Aushadhi stores)


The constitution of India under Article 47, Directive principle of State Policies states that it’s the duty of State to raise levels of nutrition and standard of living and improve public health. The National Health Policy 2017 is an imperative step towards improved access, education and empowerment of population. To make sure incidents like Gorakhpur do not occur again the Government needs to implement the healthcare policy without any delay to attend the problems of quality, safety and dignity of women.



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