India ranks the lowest in the world on several health indicators and a large part of the country’s population has little or no access to good quality healthcare, according to a report released here Wednesday.
The health crisis is aggravated by a rising incidence of chronic and non-infectious diseases, the India Infrastructure Report 2013-14: The Road to Universal Health Coverage, released here said.
The report was released by Rajiv Lall, executive chairman, IDFC, a leading finance company.
The report said that the public health system is in jeopardy, due to decades of appallingly low public investments, inadequate and antiquated infrastructure, severe shortage of human resources and inadequacies in government policies.
“Failed public health systems have forced people to turn to the private sector, which is costly and unregulated, with services often being provided by unqualified medical practitioners,” it said.
It goes on to say that preventive and primary healthcare have been marginalized with the focus having shifted to curative tertiary care, higher importance of clinical medicine, and extremely high dependence on clinical investigations.
“Health expenditures can be prohibitively high with the rural population and the urban poor being the worst sufferers,” the report by IDFC said.
The report draws the readers’ attention to some of the emerging issues in the health sector such as rising burden of non-communicable diseases and mental health, human resource crisis in health sector and health concerns of informal sector workers, and steps required to attend to them within the Universal Healthcare Framework.