Find Health and Medical expertise in India

Access to health care is a significant concern in India, with many people in remote areas unable to access primary health care. Following a series of consultations among Indian civil society activists and development specialists, a number of issues have been identified that should be addressed in India’s post-2015 health agenda. One of the main ones is equitable access to basic public health care, clean water and safe sanitation.  In the long term, access to primary health centres needs to be made universal, even in remote parts of the country. Furthermore, benchmarks for the financing of health services through domestic resources and donor aid must be established. India needs to work towards ensuring 5% of its GDP is spent on health (as per World Health Organization recommendations) – its spending on health in 2013 was just 1.3% of GDP.

At the start of the period covered by India’s 12th five-year plan (2012–17), the government of India announced aims to achieve universal health coverage by the end of 2017. As part of the plans for universal health coverage, all citizens will be entitled to comprehensive health security in the country. It will also be obligatory for the state to provide adequate food, safe drinking water, proper sanitation, education and health-related information for all citizens.

National health programmes have been established to combat malaria, filaria, sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV/AIDS), leprosy and TB. Family welfare centres give advice and education on family planning. India is one of world’s largest consumer-directed health care markets, with private sector spending making up around 80% of total health expenditure in 2007. There is no specific licensing system for hospitals, most of which are in urban areas and include charitable hospitals, religious mission hospitals, privately funded hospitals and government hospitals. The rural health care system is provided by more than 20,000 centres, backed by sub-centres, community health centres and dispensaries.

Private health insurance grew significantly in the period 2000–10 following deregulation. There are about 10,000 companies involved in the multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry. The pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated, with more than 354 drugs subject to government price controls. Regulation is carried out by the Drug Controller General of India.

Government expenditure

Only a third of health care in India (33%) was government funded in 2012. The remaining 67% was paid for by patients or funded by other non-governmental entities, such as private insurers, charities or employers. Total health expenditure constituted 4% of GDP in 2012. Expenditure by government amounts to US$20 per capita.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) accounted for an estimated 60% of all mortality in India in 2012. In 2012 the most prevalent NCDs were cardiovascular diseases (26%). Non-communicable variants of respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes contributed 13%, 7% and 2% to total mortality, respectively (2012). Communicable diseases along with maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions accounted for an estimated 28% of all mortality in 2012. In 2012 HIV prevalence among adults aged 15–49 years in India was approximately 0.3%. The overall number of confirmed cases of, as well as deaths from, malaria in the country decreased significantly in the period 2000–12. Estimated incidence of tuberculosis (TB) fell overall in the period 1990–2013. This trend was reflected in the estimated levels of TB mortality (when mortality data excludes cases comorbid with HIV), which also fell slightly during this time.

India was not an original signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, but acceded to it in 1979 and has written the covenant into law. It includes ‘the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’. The covenant commits signees to providing healthy and hygienic environmental conditions, controlling epidemic diseases, improving child health and facilitating access to health services without discrimination.

Health and Medical organisations in India
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare