ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Flailing State of Health


This is with reference to the editorial “Predatory Private Providers” (EPW, 23 December 2017). While healthcare in all rapidly developing nations gets progressively better as gross domestic product (GDP) increases, India is bucking the trend. Its economy is soaring, yet healthcare remains an Achilles heel. Amartya Sen has observed, “There are two interrelated problems faced by healthcare in India: first, its massive inadequacy, and second, the near-absence of public discussion of the inadequacy.”

In India, where nearly 70% of the population lives in rural areas, data from several surveys indicate that the incidence of disease in rural India is high. People are often left with no other option but to go to traditional healers and quacks, as public health services in rural areas are almost non-existent. Even public health services that are available at primary health centres, community health centres and district hospitals are poorly staffed, overburdened and plagued with inadequate infrastructure. Moreover, there is rampant absenteeism, indifference, incompetence, and corruption. The health infrastructure is heavily skewed in favour of urban areas. Nearly 75% of dispensaries, 60% of hospitals and 80% of doctors are located in urban centres.

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Updated On : 25th Jan, 2018
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