“Looking through a New-Normal hourglass: A Developing and Developed country scenario!!!”
The Year 2023 was an eye opener for the entire world. Human beings have seen a transformation throughout the 21st century. But as 2020 came we saw something changing around us, each year after that we documented changing trends called “New-Normal” from lockdowns to warfare, we have seen so much happening all around us. We are learning to live it, adapt it and somewhat we are adopting to live it now.
These 2 events have remarkably affected our physical, mental & emotional wellbeing to a great extent. With this blog we will read to understand the Global Healthcare trends and how they still differ in many ways in the Developed & Developing countries even in the 21st century.
To understand the current 2021 World Health Data scenario lets have a close look at the below charts
We can distinctly see that the developed countries showcase a rising scenario in increasing expenditure as well as social health insurance in terms of the government funded healthcare system usage. We have also seen that in developed countries like the USA, Germany, Singapore, etc the Public Healthcare systems are more utilised, approachable and accessible to most of the population in comparison to the private healthcare system. The concept of registration with a particular doctor or hospital facility, having a health insurance card for each individual, paying large health insurance premiums makes it somewhat essential that the Healthcare system remains approachable and transparent.
The best thing about having all data of an individual that is linked to a Health insurance card and available just by accessing through the date of birth and nationality makes it easier when you are on the move or you are having a health condition. But we also know for sure that the Healthcare system in all the developed countries is extremely advanced but also very costly. Most people from developed countries prefer visiting new-healthcare booming countries like India, where they find the healthcare system more affordable, easy and highly advanced. Now that’s a bit confusing, because for ages we have said that Healthcare Infrastructure, accessibility, affordability, doctors and physicians, nurses and midwife ratios are extremely poor in these developing countries, also the Public hospitals and healthcare facilities are highly insufficient, but the below graph speaks something new
In the developing countries on the other hand the scenario of India looks changing with the coming years. Though the Public healthcare system is still not the most preferred by most, the National schemes, healthcare budget does look promising and proliferating. India is growing in terms of healthcare infrastructure development but it’s still unequal when it comes to distribution and reach. Still the accessibility and approachability of the Public Healthcare system is a big issue in India and needs to be addressed at the earliest.
While the issues we face in India are different from those in developed countries we still have a long way to go when it comes to the Public or Government supported hospitals.
India has experienced record-breaking economic growth that has been accompanied by significant reductions in poverty. According to the World Bank, infant mortality in India has fallen from 66 to 38 per 1,000 live births from 2000 to 2015. Life expectancy at birth has increased from 63 to 68 years, and the maternal mortality ratio has fallen from 374 to 174 per 100,000 live births over the same period. Showcasing that healthcare providers, infrastructure, National Healthcare schemes and their reach has shown significant improvement. The faith in the system is growing and needs constant boost and support from the prominent leaders.
India also has shown dynamic rise in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. India has given some world-class scientists, including a proliferating clinical trials industry, leading hospitals, vaccine development facilities attracting the foreign investors and patients and treating its better-off citizens.
Yet Indian government and public health officials agree that the country faces persistent and daunting public health challenges, particularly for the poor and the underprivileged sections. These include communicable as well as noncommunicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and tobacco use, leading to cancer and other diseases; and high rates of road traffic accidents that result in injuries and deaths in the country.
As the Indian government strives to provide comprehensive health coverage for all, the country’s rapidly developing healthcare system remains an area of concern. There are disparities in health and health care systems between poorer and richer states and underfunded health care systems that in many cases are inefficiently run and underregulated. New government-financed health insurance programs are increasing coverage, but health insurance coverage for all members or each and every individual is highly limited. Investing in a health insurance card or scheme is not a highly popular scenario making the procurement of treatment, surgery or hospital expenditure with high disparities. Metro cities have large private hospital facilities providing advanced medical care but have extremely high health packages which are not affordable for the middle or higher middle-class populations. Also most health insurance schemes do not support elderly parents’ health expenditure if they suffer from multiple health complications and so it becomes all in all a difficult scenario
Public and private health systems are placing huge demands on the country’s capacity to train exceptional health leaders and professionals. Rising to meet these challenges, the people of India have an opportunity to have a major influence on their own future health and on the future of public health and medical efforts globally. The year 2020 was the year that showed the world that India fought back the pandemic by not only creating and supplying the COVID vaccine but also the age-old medicine Ayurveda science and Yoga is the New way of life. From preventing to curative to wellness India has it all. The lockdown and the pandemic showed us that physical, emotional and mental wellbeing can be achieved with a balanced diet, positive attitude and movement all are the essentials of combating the health issues as big as covid 19.
India is digital and data giant in the coming years, if we couple the medical healthcare system and develop a digitally safeguarded EHS system that helps each and every citizen documented and linked with his or her Inner health data so that in case of health issue or emergency nobody gets treated late due to delay in getting treatment just because nobody filled the case paper and gave the information. A simple healthcare linked to vital citizen cards of Adhar card can give every citizen to avail health treatment in the most needed times without any hassle. If only our public hospitals become more approachable and acceptable to all the citizens equally and the Public and the Private come together to provide the best possible health treatment, it will be a golden day in the history of our country.
With a lot of disparities seen among the developed and developing countries what is most essential is that ultimately the health issues and needs of the population have to be taken care of to have a better life and burden free health care system equal and affordable to All!!!
Author: Mrs. Shruti Prashant Kulkarni
B.Sc. (Foods & Nutrition), M.Sc. (Public Health)
Clinical Nutritionist, Diabetes Educator & Counsellor, Ph.D. scholar
Research & Product Domain Expert (Atreya Innovations Pvt Ltd)
Chief Nutrition Counsellor (Germany)
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