Chairman of National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH), Dr. Narottam Puri has urged the government to increase the GDP share of healthcare system.
“India is the country where patients of lifestyle diseases like cardiac, diabetes are increasing on a daily basis but our healthcare sector is not able to cater them. Our government spends only one percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) on the healthcare sector which is the lowest among the neighboring countries,” he added.
Concurring with Puri on shortage of manpower, Dr. Mahesh Verma, Director-Principal at Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences averred, “India faces an acute shortage of nearly 68 lakh skilled human resource in the health sector. There is not sufficient number of medical colleges in India. The need of the hour is to increase the number of seats in the existing medical colleges.”
Likewise, Bejon Misra, trustee of the consumer online foundation and founder of PSM (the partnership for safe medicines India) India Initiative, said, “The main concern is that out of the total government spending on the health sector, only 20 per cent of poor people are able to get the true benefit of healthcare facilities.”
According to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare estimates, India has just one doctor per 2000 people. Commenting on the same, Puri said, “There is a wide gap between the number of patients and doctors. The number of doctors graduating every year in India is very less. Moreover, in the last three years, nearly 3000 doctors left India owing to poor infrastructure and higher income abroad.”
Blaming the government over the medical negligence, Misra said, “To get good healthcare service is our fundamental right but we are not getting it. Moreover, there is an urgent requirement of a regulator to monitor the functioning of healthcare activities in the public and private sector.”
Referring to 3 A’s of healthcare, Puri said, “The medical services can be divided into three parts: availability, affordability and assurance. Unfortunately, India lacks on all these fronts.” The other panelists concurred with the view.
Making a comparison between health facilities in India and abroad, Shabnam Singh, mother of cricketer Yuvraj Singh (who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2011), said, “It was a pleasant atmosphere over there. The systems were fully automatic. They provided to the point treatment.” She wondered when India would be able to host such facilities.