Rural-Urban Divide in Health Status


Vol NO: VOL. 12, ISSUE 74

"It was nearly four decades ago that economist Michael Lipton brought to the fore the concept of an urban bias in the process of development, noting  the spatial differences or inequalities in poverty between urban and rural areas’. He also highlighted that although domination of the urban class could be seen along many dimensions, it was perhaps most importantly manifested in the form of state health resource allocation that favoured urban priorities at the expense of national equity and efficiency (Lipton, 1977, 'Why Poor People Stay Poor: Urban Bias in World Development', Cambridge). Even poverty is now being defined in multidimensional ways including health status, which is today a key factor and critical dimension of human development (A Sen, 1981, 'Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlements and Deprivations', Oxford University Press). Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have also placed considerable emphasis on the health indices considering that three out of its eight goals relate to health. When it comes to health status and health care, Indians are split into two groups - the first comprising of the middle and upper classes of urban India with access to quality medical care. However, the second and larger group comp

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    Srinivas Goli

    Health is a critical dimension of human development as outlined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, India is still grappling with the persistent rural - urban divide. The nation today urgently need to strengthen the country's rural health infrastructure to better its health status beyond the middle and upper classes of society.

    The author is Research Scholar, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai.

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