Healthcare for all, but where is the doctor?
Modicare, possibly the world's biggest government-funded health care program, will be launched on 25th September this year, announced by Prime Minister in India in his Independence Day speech today.
Aug 15, 2018 Dr Luyun Jiang
Modicare, possibly the world's biggest government-funded health care program, will be launched on 25th September this year, announced by Prime Minister in India in his Independence Day speech today (Wednesday 15 August 2018). This national healthcare scheme aims to offer an annual cover of 500,000 rupees ($7,150) to 500 m poor and vulnerable families.
We can clearly see where this program come from. India has seen one of the fastest economic growth in the past three decades, but at present, the government spends just over 1% of GDP on health, compared with 3.1% in China and 8.3% in US. Around 65% of health spending is out-of-pocket, as a result, 63 million people fall below the poverty line every year because of health care costs. This NHS in India aims to put the situation to an end. "It is essential to ensure that we free the poor of India from the clutches of poverty due to which they cannot afford healthcare," the prime minister said.
However, Modicare has already been widely challenged, simply by one question: where is the doctor? The fact is, there is only one doctor for every 1,300 people. And the hospital is another headache. It is estimated that the country will need 35 million more hospital beds. So the new health care plan bears kind intentions and ambitions, but it cannot solve the problem, because India simply doesn't have enough doctors and hospitals to serve so many hundreds of millions.
India is not alone in this dilemma. The demand for more hospital and doctors is likely to explode in China and other developing countries as well.
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