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Providing Affordable Rural Healthcare Ecosystem In India Is Need Of The Hour

Mubasher Shafi wani | OPINION

A person goes to a doctor complaining of cough, fever. He is prescribed antibiotics. The problem is not solved, cough and fever are there and body ache touches skyrockets. Now the doctor advises all the test till the final report comes a person might easily spend Rs/2000, and it is quite more for a poor person.
Ground-level situation: rural people have no access to even roads, hospitals and medical instruments. A day before Jamila Begum w/o Ghulam Ali Butt fell accidentally from tree met with a serious injury. It took her 4hours to get access to the transport facility near DRANGA GOHA MARMAT distt.DODAand wait for an ambulance, first aid. But medical staff of near PHC refuse to provide her ambulance. Alas! every rural people buck through such gigantic situation. The pilaster of the success of any country is the health of the people. Do we have a mechanism to tackle future problems? The biggest challenge faced by the common man with regards to health infrastructure, availability of doctors, ambulance. The true wealth is health: most of the things in life can be bought by money except good health that is something to be taken care of. Medical costs have touched skyrocket prices: MRI test..5000,ctscan..3000, more consultation charges. Almost 123crore people in India have no access to get free medical facilities.70percent of the population resides in rural areas, only 2 to 3percent qualified doctors are available to them. Thus a large portion depends on govt.funded facilities.Govt.hospitals, Ph.C., subcenter where cattle’s are reared and fed. Human beings, in general, are facing serious health problems. some inexpungable and stable steps should be taken. Increased focus on water, sanitation, and health infrastructure, especially in informal settlements such as slums and rural areas, Investment in human capital including access to education for all, privatisation of basic services for easy and efficient, emphasis on improving the public transit systems, Affordability of public transport, Coastal resiliency, Reuse of water and its diversification, Increased emphasis on the use of renewable resources, Adequate waste disposal system……The need to go green. Pradhan Manthri Jan Arogya Yojana or Ayushman Bharat programme which promises to benefit 10.74 crores poor and deprived rural families, has raised many hopes. However, establishing an affordable and accessible healthcare ecosystem in India requires a wider approach that includes creating the required human resource and raising awareness among rural Indians.
Barriers to affordable healthcare access to rural areas:
Low Health Literacy:
Poor health literacy disables a patient’s ability to comprehend health information and instructions from their healthcare providers. Sometimes, due to low health literacy, rural residents get reluctant to visit a healthcare facility as they don’t have confidence in communicating with a healthcare professional. At the same time, it also translates into low awareness about chronic diseases and symptoms that must be taken seriously. It is important therefore to have a functioning primary healthcare service closer to the doors of rural,
Long-distance commutation and Workforce Shortage. Now, what to do?. Innovative approaches to healthcare-Reskilling primary healthcare doctors, Human resource creation
Ways have to be found out to generate trained human resource to provide healthcare services in rural areas. This can be done by commissioning new medical colleges in rural areas, providing monetary and non-monetary incentives to doctors to work in rural areas, improving working conditions for healthcare professionals and provide them with ancillary infrastructure to carry out basic duties.

The foundation of the government’s healthcare system rests on a three-tier structure. Health sub-centres in villages act as the first point of contact and take care of essential health needs, including treatment of minor ailments, family planning, nutrition, immunization and diarrheal control.
The second tier consists of primary health centres, which serves as a referral unit for sub-centres and provide integrated primitive, preventive and curative health care.
The third tier is made up of community health centres, 30-bed hospitals that serve as a referral unit for primary health centres.
In addition, around 8000 hospitals function as the second tier for health care for the rural population and as the primary tier for the urban population.
The private sector in health is highly fragmented. At one end are “quacks”, private health practitioners with little medical knowledge or formal training. At other end are top-rated private hospitals that cater to both Indian and foreigners who can afford to pay for often expensive care. Between these two extremes, other private providers range from small private clinics to hospitals, some for-profit entities and some not-for-profit

  1. Top priority should be given to primary health care services, including early management of health problems and better quality of care.
  2. Strengthening primary health care delivery by ensuring the basics such as universal immunization can greatly reduce morbidity and lower the costs of curative care.
  3. It will lower the burden of higher strata of hospitals where the cost of treatment is high.
  4. India requires an integrated action on health care to make it universally accessible and affordable at the same time. This will also have a positive impact on poverty and growth.
  5. Recognizing the massive need for expanding the reach of health care services, the government needs to evolve new and innovative ways of engaging the private sector especially in the provision of tertiary care.
  6. A National health regulatory and development framework needs to be made for improving the quality (for example registration of health practitioners), performance, equity, efficacy and accountability of the health care delivery across the