Access to hospitals and medicines to remain a distant dream for 70% of rural India till 2040



Accessibility either to the hospitals or medicines would remain a distant dream for about 70 per cent of the Indians particularly in rural India until at least 2040 according to the report brought out by the ASSOCHAM Council on Healthcare and Hospitals.

The report points out that India has an average 0.6 doctors per 1000 population against the global average of 1.23 which suggests an evident manpower gap.  The healthcare infrastructure in India is highly inadequate comparing global standards. It lags far behind the global average in terms of healthcare infrastructure and manpower.

The major barriers to health care accessibility observed by the report includes limited means of transportation, infrastructure, cost of health care and gender discrimination makes women the less privileged section with regards to healthcare and more vulnerable to various diseases and associated mortality.

While in China the doctors density (number 1000) is 1.7, in India it is 0.6 whereas 2.7 in the USA and 2.1 in the UK.  The hospitals bed density in China is 3.0, India is 1.27, USA 3.1 and UK 3.9.

India’s healthcare spending is significantly low when compared to the global, developed and other similar emerging economies. The Indian healthcare spending is less than half the global average in percentage terms when compared on a “percent of GDP” basis. India 4.10 %, China 4.30%, Brazil 8.40%, UK 8.40%, Global 9.70% and USA 15.70%.

The healthcare spending, when compared on the basis of public-private contribution, also depicts a skewed picture. Private Sector contribution to the healthcare sector at ~75 percent is amongst the highest in the world in percentage terms. Public spending, on the other hand, is amongst the lowest in the world and is ~23 percentage points lower than the global average.

The public health care spending in India is 26.20% where as in China 44.70%, Brazil 41.8-%, UK 81.70%, Global 59.60%, USA 45.50%.  The private health care spending in India is 73.80% where as in China 55.30%, Brazil 58.40%, UK 18.30%, Global 40.40%, and USA 54.50%.

Moreover, the healthcare spending examined by ASSOCHAM on a per capita basis, both in terms of USD (at average exchange rate conversion) and in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), is amongst the lowest globally. Further, when compared to the global average, the per capita Indian healthcare spend is ~95 percent lower on an average exchange rate basis and ~87 percent lower on a PPP basis.

The financials for six selected hospitals, some of which have foreign funding, mainly through FII and equity sources. The figures summarize the key features of investment and returns in the hospital business and highlight some of the main factors, albeit interrelated, which affect this segment. The financial information presented in the table indicates that there are clearly issues of establishment, operating costs, nature of assets and their depreciation, and costs of financing, which are likely to affect the viability of hospital projects and thus the extent to which this segment attracts foreign direct investment.

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2 Comments

  1. a.g.rajmohan says:

    After all health is removed from the agenda of the government under the dictates of the IMF, while availing the bailout loan in 1990. Under the programme of SAP health is being left to the individuals and the government will have no intervention of any sort. therefore let us prepare our mind to meet the worst or resist by a powerful peoples’ movement.

  2. prasad TRM says:

    first things first!several corporate hospitals in metropolis have got several concessions from state govts in land and other infrastructural facilities besides realaxation in import dutues,excise etc for importing equipment etc., these concessions were given against the undertaking that these hospitals would treat those BPL .is there any audit report on this and is there any watch dog supervising this aspect?

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