Health Care Improvements in India
Health care improvements in India have taken place thanks to a boost in awareness initiatives and government spending.

Increased Government Spending

Government health spending in India has steadily risen to 30 percent of the country’s total health expenditure, 10 percent higher than in 2005. While an increase in spending in the health care industry is a positive, India remains below the average of other lower- to middle-income countries for public spending at 38 percent.

More than 550 million Indians now have some form of health insurance coverage, which marks a dramatic increase from 50 million in 2005.

Improved Emergency Response Time

The Registry of Hospitals in Network of Insurance (ROHINI) is the first database for hospitals in India, which includes more than 32,000 hospitals. ROHINI uses specific hospital identification numbers and geographical location information for hospitals and has transformed the health sector data analytics. Emergency response, disease surveillance and monitoring are all possible and more effective thanks to this system.

In addition, ome specific health care improvements in India include:

  • Premature mortality rates have dropped in the last decade as well, with 57 deaths per 1,000 lives birth to 37 between 2005 and 2015. This can be attributed to an increase in institutional birthing, improved sanitation and immunization coverage.
  • The country has been polio-free since 2014. India has also eliminated tetanus as of 2015, with specific goals for the eradication of malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and lymphatic filariasis in the coming years.
  • According to PATH, “after significant progress in the last few years, 70 percent of India’s population now has access to subsidized food.”

Greater Collaboration

Two of the largest states in India, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, are collaborating with doctors outside of the area as well as researchers to implement strategies to help the healthcare sector. Some of these strategies include nurse mentoring, and the observation of delivery services to and from hospitals, with more than 8,000 deliveries observed since 2012.

The Uttar Pradesh government is conducting a large-scale evaluation of social accountability interventions to improve health care services at the village level.

India only allocates 1.15 percent of its GDP to health care currently and because of the country’s shortage of staff, funds are being underutilized. The government has pledged to increase health spending to 2.5 percent of India’s GDP by 2025.

Casey Geier
Photo: Flickr