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  • Date Submitted: 05/01/2012 04:08 PM
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Healthcare in Rural India: Challenges
Ashok Jhunjhunwala Suma Prashant Sameer Sawarkar
Rural Technology & Business Incubator, IITM, Chennai ashok@tenet.res.in

Reach of Healthcare in India
- Rural Context – Heavily urban biased healthcare resources



Rural Doctors to population ratio lower by 6 times Rural Beds to population ratio lower by 15 times Villagers spend 1.5 times more compared to urban counterparts for same illness Spurious drugs: 7 of 10 medicines in rural areas substandard / counterfeit







22 Million population pushed below poverty line annually due to healthcare expenditure alone, 40% of hospitalization expenditure funded by borrowed money or sold assets

Why Rural Healthcare…
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700 million people living in 636K villages Preventable and curable diseases dominate the morbidity pattern; diarrhea, measles, typhoid 66% of rural Indians do not have access to critical medicine 31% of the population travel more than 30kms seeking health care in rural India a third of symptoms presented at the primary health setting might be psychosomatic in nature – “holistic approach is absent”

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What is blocking Rural Healthcare delivery?


Not attractive enough for private sector
• Distributed population • Not enough money(?)

•Under-funded, under-staffed •Incentives missing •People’s perception •Infrastructure Evaluation

•Lack of quality of delivery in rural space •Focus on tertiary level of care, training specialists and not general practitioners •Distributed population/not enough money?

• Closer proximity to villages • Acquired trust of local people • Need direction to tackle issues based on preventive measures



Less efficient public sector
• Incentives missing





Lack of skilled health workers on ground Public Health Private Health Indigenous Health Systems System System Missing efficient distribution networks

Rural Healthcare

Healthcare – Some interesting realities
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