Skip to main content

Health expenses pushed India's 63 million in debt, one third below poverty: Pharma industry sponsored report

By Rajiv Shah
A top healthcare report prepared by one of the world’s most well-known consultants, KPMG, has regretted that currently 60 per cent hospitals, 75 per cent dispensaries and 80 per cent doctors are “located in urban areas, serving only 28 per cent of the country’s population”.
Sponsored by the Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) in an effort to showcase how the country’s pharma companies care for “improving” healthcare in India through “non-commercial” interventions, the report admits, “We were unable to meet the health targets under the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) defined by the UN.”
It believes, this is because of “limited” access to healthcare infrastructure, lack of “trained” human resources and “limited” health financing options, though refusing to spell out what these “financial options” could be.
Short of insisting on going in for funding healthcare through private sector, the report does not seek to intensifying affordable public healthcare system either. It seeks to make one believe that the poor healthcare in India is caused by such “grossly neglected” factors like “health awareness and education, accurate and timely diagnosis, and adherence to, and completion of doctor prescribed treatment.”
Among “peer group” countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC), the report regrets, India has poorest health indices such as life expectancy (68 years), infant mortality rate 38/1,000 live births and maternal mortality rate (MMR) 174/100,000 live births too are the “highest among peer group”.
Titled “Report on Healthcare Access Initiatives”, it says, the number of hospital beds per 1,000 population in India is 0.9, “lowest among BRIC nations”, and the country has “lowest number of physicians per 10,000 population among BRIC nations”.
“In rural India, only 37 per cent of people have access to in-patient department facilities within a five-km distance” and only 68 per cent “have access to out-patient department”, the report says. 
Coming to the economics of healthcare in India, the report says that “nearly 63 million people are in debt due to health expenditure” and “nearly a third of population is driven below the poverty line due to health expenses.”
This is because, according to the report, “The government funds only a third of health expenditure”, adding, “Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spent on healthcare (4.1 per cent) is lowest among BRIC countries.”
It further says, 75 per cent of the population of India is “uncovered” by insurance, adding, “Out of pocket contributes close to 86 per cent of private and 60 per cent of overall healthcare expenditure”.
The report states, in India “universal health coverage (UHC) has never been more relevant or critical, and needs to be designed factoring the rising dual burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases”.
According to the report, “While communicable diseases such as malaria, AIDS continue to be a challenge, the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular and diabetes can no longer be ignored”, adding, “Today, NCDs account for more than 60 per cent of all deaths, and pose a potential financial burden of USD 5 trillion by 2030.”

Comments

TRENDING

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”