Posted by Anjali Kaur on Jul 08, 2020
Health Infrastructure

What is the health infrastructure?

Health is the holistic process related to the overall growth and development of the nation. The development of health infrastructure ensures a country of healthy manpower for the production of goods & services. Let’s learn about health infrastructure, its deficiencies, and measures to solve those deficiencies. Let’s start.

Meaning of the health infrastructure

Health infrastructure includes hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other para-medical professionals, beds, equipment, and a well-developed pharmaceutical industry.

Challenges faced in the health infrastructure

The following challenges or deficiencies faced by the Indian health infrastructure includes:

  1. Unequal distribution of health care facilities
    • The distribution of health care facilities is very inequitable across different parts of the country.
    • 20% of total hospitals and 50% of total dispensaries are located in rural areas, even though 70% of India’s population lives in rural areas.
  2. The spread of communicable disease
    • There is an urgent requirement to identify, prevent, and make people aware of some communicable diseases that are posing a serious threat to society.
    • These diseases are Covid-19 (Coronavirus disease), AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome), HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus), etc.
  3. Privatization of health care
    • The health care provided by the private sector is very expensive that every Indian cannot afford.
  4. Improper Sanitation facilities
    • Poor level of sanitation in India due to lack of funds.
    • India is not able to maintain the required standard of clean surroundings and making people aware of the benefits of clean surroundings.
    • About 30% of the houses in urban areas do not have toilet facilities.
  5. Poor maintenance of health care centers
    • Lack of funds led to poor maintenance of health care centers.
    • The private sector does not face this problem, but this sector passes the cost of maintenance to the people who avail of their services by charging a big amount of fees.

Measures to solve deficiency in the health infrastructure

  1. Decentralization of public health services
    • With the decentralization of public health services, all the citizens can get better health facilities.
    • Health services should be properly allocated in different areas according to the requirement.
  2. Creating awareness
    • It is critical to creating awareness on health and hygiene, proper sanitation, vaccination, communicable diseases, etc.
    • This awareness is spread through the newspaper, radios, mobile, TV, etc.
  3. The effectiveness of primary health care
    • Depends on the primary health care center.
    • The ultimate goal should be to help people move towards a better quality of life.
  4. Reduction in urban-rural divide
    • There should be proper management of health care facilities so that this gap can be reduced.
  5. Easy access to health care facilities
    • To provide basic health care to all, accessibility and affordability need to be integrated and coordinated in our basic health infrastructure.
  6. Increase in Investment
    • There is a lack of investment, especially in public health.
    • Investment should be increased so that more health care institutions can be opened.
    • Innovations and research can be carried on to develop a treatment for some dangerous diseases.

Achievement in the health infrastructure (India)

  1. Fall in the death rate
    • There is a decline in the death rate from 27.4 persons per thousand in 1950-51 to 7 persons per thousand in 2015-16.
  2. The decline in Infant Mortality Rate
    • IMR has reduced from 146 infants per thousand in 1950-51 to 34 infants per thousands in 2015-16
  3. The rise in life expectancy
    • Life expectancy has increased from 32.5 years in 1950-51 to 69.9 years in 2015-16.
  4. Control of communicable diseases
    • India got rid of smallpox in 1977.
    • Malaria patients have also reduced.
    • Measures have also been undertaken to control diseases like cholera, polio, rabies, whooping cough, COVID-19, etc.

India has about 17% of the world’s population but it bears a frightening 20% of global burden of diseases (GBD).

What is Global burden of diseases (GBD)?

Global burden of diseases (GBD) is an indicator used by experts to gauge the number of people dying permanently due to a particular disease, as well as the number of years spent by them in a state of disability owing to the disease.

In India, more than half of GBD is accounted for by communicable diseases such as diarrhea, malaria, and tuberculosis. Every year around 5 lakhs children dies due to waterborne disease.

What is Indian System of Medicine (ISM)?

Indian System of Medicine (ISM) includes 6 systems- Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Naturopathy, and Homeopathy (AYUSH). At present, there are 3167 ISM hospitals, 26000 dispensaries, and 7 lakhs registered practitioners in India.

Photo by Mārtiņš Zemlickis on Unsplash

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