Why Isn't Healthcare Affordable and Accessible to All in India?

Why Isn't Healthcare Affordable and Accessible to All in India?

Why Isn't Healthcare Affordable and Accessible to All in India?

Healthcare remains largely inaccessible and unaffordable for the majority of Indians, especially the middle and lower-income groups. From consultation fees to medication and diagnostics, costs remain prohibitive, causing financial stress. However, affordable and quality healthcare is a basic necessity that should be available to all citizens.

Why Healthcare is Not Affordable in India?

There are several reasons why healthcare is not affordable for many people in India:

  1. Out-of-Pocket Expenditure: Nearly 62% of healthcare expenses in India are out-of-pocket, causing many households to sink into poverty due to financial burden. This is mainly due to lack of penetration of health insurance.
  2. Lack of Public Healthcare Infrastructure: The over-burdened public healthcare setup has perennially suffered from under-investment. The infrastructure is dismal in tier 2, 3 cities, forcing people to visit private hospitals with higher costs.
  3. Shortage of Healthcare Personnel: India faces an acute shortage of doctors, nurses and healthcare staff, especially in rural areas. The World Health Organization recommends a ratio of 1:1000 which is not met, leading to consolidation in urban centres.
  4. Focus on Treatment not Prevention: Indian healthcare system is geared more towards treatment while neglecting preventive care. But identifying health risks early could reduce overall financial burden.
  5. Medicine & Diagnostic Costs: Along with doctor fees and hospital charges, the cost of medicines and diagnostic tests like blood work remains high, especially in private setups due to regulatory gaps.
  6. Lack of comprehensive health insurance coverage: Only a small percentage of the Indian population has access to comprehensive health insurance coverage, either through government schemes or private insurance. Many people, especially in rural areas and the informal sector, remain uninsured, making them vulnerable to high medical expenses.
  7. Uneven distribution of healthcare facilities: There is a significant disparity in the availability of healthcare facilities between urban and rural areas, as well as between different states and regions in India. Rural areas often lack adequate healthcare infrastructure, forcing people to travel long distances or seek treatment in cities, which can be expensive.
  8. Inadequate public healthcare spending: India's public healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP is among the lowest in the world, around 1.5%. This lack of sufficient government funding for healthcare infrastructure, human resources, and subsidized services contributes to the affordability challenge.
  9. Increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases: The rising burden of non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, which often require prolonged and expensive treatment, has made healthcare less affordable for many Indians.
  10. Lack of regulation on pricing: The absence of effective regulation on pricing in the private healthcare sector, which accounts for a significant portion of healthcare services in India, has led to high and often unaffordable costs for many people.

Addressing the affordability issue requires a multi-pronged approach, including increasing public healthcare spending, expanding health insurance coverage, regulating healthcare costs, and improving the distribution of healthcare facilities across the country.

How Can the Healthcare System be Strengthened?

The government realizes healthcare infrastructure needs active strengthening through partnerships between public and private players to enhance reach.
  1. Increase Health Insurance Coverage: Insurance coverage has expanded with schemes like Ayushman Bharat but wider penetration, especially in semi-urban regions, will improve affordability.
  2. Boost Healthcare Facilities in Rural Areas: The bulk of the Indian population resides in villages with minimal access to quality healthcare. Mobile clinics, telemedicine along with local language apps can bridge the divide.
  3. Focus on Preventive Testing: Affordable and accessible preventive testing solutions to screen for lifestyle diseases can potentially reduce treatment costs and health decline later.
  4. Encourage Private Players to Enhance Access: Policy changes should make it attractive for private sector healthcare firms to set up facilities in remote areas through subsidies and incentives.
  5. Regulate Healthcare Costs: While free market dynamics govern healthcare, some price caps may be required, especially for essential drugs and tests, to expand affordability.

How healthcare nt sickcare Provides Affordable Healthcare Services?

As an ISO-certified automated diagnostic laboratory based out of Pune, our vision aligns with the national agenda of enhancing healthcare access through:
  • Cost-effective Lab Testing
  • Sample Collection from Home
  • Cashless Online Booking
  • Insights for Informed Decisions
  • Value-added Wellness Plans
We offer a range of blood tests, health packages with options to get samples collected from patients’ residence along with diet and wellness counselling for complete care. Our transparent pricing and home services make tests affordable for middle and lower-middle income groups as well.
Investing in preventive healthcare is the first step to avoiding larger medical costs later. Our automated infrastructure, government-accredited external lab partners and process compliance ensures patients get quality diagnostics at prices that don’t pinch hard. We believe affordable healthcare options that don’t compromise on quality will expand the market as more citizens prioritize health.

Why are blood tests expensive in India?

High costs of diagnostic equipment, trained workforce shortage along with unregulated labs raises prices of blood tests, often burning hole in the public’s pockets.

How can blood test charges be made affordable?

Increased automation, bulk procurement benefits and partnerships with third-party accredited labs can potentially lower blood diagnostics costs.

Why do health screening tests remain inaccessible for many households?

Preventive health packages are not covered under insurance. With mostly out-of-pocket payment, lower middle class families avoid check-ups until onset of actual symptoms.

How can pathology labs enhance accessibility of tests?

Home phlebotomy services, online test booking, wellness profiler tools along with transparent pricing can encourage more people to opt for early screening.

How to Choose an Affordable Pathology Lab?

  • Check for accreditations like NABL or ISO certification
  • Review reporting accuracy and insights
  • Compare test rates with other major labs
  • Understand sample pickup, insurance claim processes
  • See if customized health packages are available

How to Get Diagnostics Tests Done at Low Costs?

  • Discuss test really required with doctor
  • Book directly through the lab’s website for lower rates
  • Opt for basic tests if undergoing routine checks
  • Check for combo offers or subsidized government rates
  • See if home sample collection service is available to save visits
In conclusion, while India still has a long way to go in making healthcare affordable and accessible to all citizens, incremental steps have been taken. Advancements like telehealth and health-tech apps are slowly but surely penetrating rural regions today. We are hoping to do our bit in expanding accessibility of basic pathology services for suburbs and smaller towns so individuals and families can take charge of their health through timely screening and monitoring.
#healthcarecosts #affordablehealthcare #preventivehealth
All material copyright healthcare nt sickcare. Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy of use apply. The contents of this website are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Our content is inspired by various online articles and our own offline experiences. It is meant to provide public awareness and regular updates to the clientele of healthcare nt sickcare.
© healthcare nt sickcare and healthcarentsickcare.com, 2017-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to healthcare nt sickcare and healthcarentsickcare.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.