"Equitable access to public healthcare may be defined where individuals receive equal public healthcare facilities irrespective of his/her social, economic and geographic background. Serving a population of over 1.3 billion, India healthcare sector is a far cry from such an egalitarian access. It is common knowledge that despite a vast network, India exhibits a number of crippling disparities across various parameters in healthcare. Variations are even sharper when private and public healthcare infrastructure is compared.
Access to Healthcare in India | Where do we stand?
According to the report, Global Burden of Diseases: 2016 India ranks 154th in 195 countries on the healthcare index. Interestingly, even Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have secured a better ranking than India. According to the National Health Profile 2017, India has a mere 1 million qualified doctors for a population of 1.3 billion people. Out of this, roughly 10 per cent of doctors are employed in the public sector which translates into one allopathic doctor for approximately 10,200 people. as shown in Figure 1, Bihar for example has only 3,576 government doctors available for a population of almost 100 million, taking the ratio of patients per doctor to about 1:27,0
Accessible and affordable healthcare in the public sector can reduce India growing dependence on private institutions. However, at present lopsided and poorly manned governmental facilities leave no alternatives apart from accessing private institutions and incurring a high out-of-pocket expenditure in health care.