While healthcare is set to be worth 280 million by 2020, the current scenario needs to be reviewed and an effective action plan needs to be devised to make it prosper. The healthcare system is in India is mainly influenced by the four factors – the number of practicing doctors, the pharma industry, the medical equipments industry and the medical expenditures incurred.
Here’s an overview about the current scenario and the probable initiatives towards a booming healthcare system.
Doctors – World Health Organization states a ratio of 1:1000, viz one doctor per thousand patients against the fact sheet speaking about a current ratio of 1:1700. This stats already clears the fog on the availability of doctors and to say the least, there is definite scarcity of doctors in India. The reasons for the same could be many. One of which includes their reluctance to work in rural regions of India. Furthermore, the infrastructure in rural areas is extremely poor. There is unavailability of medical equipments, medicines and more.
Medical Equipments – Earlier the FDI offered by the government of India to the medical equipment industry was as good as nil. But in the last few years the government is offering cent percent FDI and it has served like a booster dose for the industry, affirmatively. Although, there are umpteen hi-tech healthcare equipments that still need to be imported ,making it an expensive affair. This results in affecting the expenses of the patients or consumers, who have to pay hefty sums to avail advanced healthcare services.
Medicines – The pharma industry is booming, yes but the common man is still not benefited as much. Many doctors prefer to prescribe expensive medicines to their patients which results in higher expenses . A survey states that over 4 crore people are in debt due to the exorbitant out of pocket expenses. The out of pocket costs mainly include the medical expenses that are not covered under insurance, the copay costs of healthcare and likes.
Action Plan – Introducing schemes like Janani shishu suraksha yojna in rural areas would be a good idea considering how well it has worked. Sorting out IMR and MMR and strengthening the PP model is needed as well. It also includes augmentation of infrastructure and encouraging doctors to work in rural areas by offering good remunerations, incentives and facilities. The government need to plan for cost friendly medical solutions in the rural areas of the country as well. Drastic steps in the direction of reducing out of pocket expenses to a great extent is, well, need of the hour.
On the brighter side, there are a lot of opportunities in store because the healthcare system in the urban areas seems to be all equipped with fitness and diagnostic chains, healthcare models, advanced medical setups and more. What is needed to boost this up though is innovative entrepreneurship. This can have a sizeable effect on the economic growth. Further, India is fast becoming a popular and sought after destination for medical tourism. Considering such high demand and potential, innovative entrepreneurship, well devised healthcare policies and initiatives can definitely make for a prospering healthcare system.
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