Healthcare Challenges in India

India is racing to become the most populous country in the world. With decrease in mortality rates and increase in life expectancy, India is trying to cope with healthcare challenges of a growing population. As published by a 2018 Statista Research, an estimated ₹1.6 lakh crores[1] was spent on public healthcare in 2018. In 2020, India’s GDP was ₹196.73 lakh crores[2] and public health expenditure was limited to 1.2% of the GDP[3]

With growing demands, there are several challenges faced in the healthcare sector.[4]

  1. Lack of awareness: Not having healthy life-style practices, irregular assessments of health concerns and low priority for health
  2. Limited access to Healthcare: Factors such as financial affordability, access to diagnostics services, availability of medicines and physical reach to healthcare facilities
  3. High dependency on healthcare workforce: Not having enough medical staff to support the growing demand of patients at healthcare centers, dependency on healthcare workers for health assessments, testing and treatments 
  4. Rural-Urban divide: There is a huge gap between the Urban and the Rural healthcare system in terms of healthcare centers, health assessments and diagnosis, non-availability of healthcare workers and affordability of healthcare services. The healthcare sector is still largely centered around the urban population.
  5. Inconsistent monitoring of patient health: Healthcare centers not taking accountability for the complete well-being of patients in terms of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

In 2020, the size of the Indian healthcare market was around ₹14.5 lakh crores. With growing demands, the healthcare market is expected to exceed ₹ 28 lakh crores by 2022[5]. This turbulent period of the pandemic has taught us that it is time to move past these challenges and adopt a renewed perspective to enabling access to healthcare. 

The author is a qualified wellness expert and founding member at CortiqaHealth, a company dedicated to making healthcare accessible, affordable and easy-to-use.