From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not Much
Mains level : Healthcare lacunae in India
- India has a shortage of an estimated 600,000 doctors and 2 million nurses, say a US study.
Out-of-pocket costs of health
- In India, 65% of health expenditure is out-of-pocket, and such expenditures push some 57 million people into poverty each year.
- Even when antibiotics are available, patients are often unable to afford them.
- High out-of-pocket medical costs to the patient are compounded by limited government spending for health services.
- The study found that lack of staff that are properly trained in administering antibiotics is preventing patients from accessing live-saving drugs.
- Researchers at CDDEP in the U.S. conducted stakeholder interviews in Uganda, India, and Germany, and literature reviews to identify key access barriers to antibiotics in low-, middle-, and high-income countries.
- The majority of the world’s annual 5.7 million antibiotic-treatable deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
- Here, the mortality burden from treatable bacterial infections far exceeds the estimated annual 700,000 deaths from antibiotic-resistant infections.
- Health facilities in many of these countries are substandard.
Issues with India
- In India, there is one government doctor for every 10,189 people (the WHO recommends a ratio of 1:1,000), or there is a deficit of 600,000 doctors.
- The nurse: patient ratio is 1:483, implying a shortage of two million nurses.
- Lack of access to antibiotics kills more people currently than does antibiotic resistance, but we have not had a good handle on why these barriers are created.
- The findings of the report show that even after the discovery of new antibiotic, regulatory hurdles and substandard health facilities delay or altogether prevent widespread market entry and drug availability.