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Problems of Health Care delivery in India

The effect of social and economic inequality in health is profound in India. Poverty as a result of social and economic inequality in a society is detrimental to the health of the population. The outcome indicators of health (mortality, morbidity and life expectancy) are all directly influenced by inequality in a given population. So it is not the absolute deprivation of income that matters but relative distribution of income. The ration of doctors to population in rural areas is almost six times lower than that in urban population per capita expenditure on public health is seven times lower in rural areas compared to the government spending for urban areas. As per some reports only 17% of all health expenditure in the country is borne by the state and 82% comes out of the payment by the people. This makes the Indian public health system grossly inadequate and under funded. The state of economy has a direct effect on the state of health in the country. The persistence of poverty in the social structure complicates the health scene. The poor suffer disproportionately because of the double burden of traditional diseases as well as diseases caused by industrialization and rapid resource depletion. The poor lack adequate access to health care facilities, low education level and awareness. They live in poor environmental conditions and lack the social opportunities to change their level of living. The role of the private sector is getting stronger in view of non-performance by the government in expanding the health infrastructure and increasing health care costs. The middle class increasingly prefers private medical care. The inadequacy of resources in government run medical care infrastructure has also shifted the demand towards private concerns. The growth of private health care sector has been largely seen as adding to increasing social dichotomy.

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