The problems of Urban Healthcare System in India: Accessibility, Affordability and Accountability


Despite having a relatively developed infrastructure for healthcare in urban India, it is common knowledge that a unique dichotomy plagues the Indian healthcare sector. On the one hand, metropolitan cities are peppered with super-specialty hospitals providing world-class tertiary healthcare. On the other hand, there is a vast gap both in awareness and implementation when it comes to primary and preventive care.


The urban healthcare landscape has made mentionable strides in the past few decades with double-digit growth of the private medical sector that remains the primary source of health care for 70% of households in urban areas. However, the urban healthcare system still struggles to address accessibility, affordability, and accountability issues.


Every year in India, almost 5.8 million Indians die because of diabetes, cancer, stroke, heart and lung diseases. One out of four Indians is at the risk of dying from an NCD before the age of 70. According to the World Health Organisation, about 1.7 million Indian deaths are caused by heart diseases every year.



Accessibility:

The accessibility of healthcare and utilisation of available healthcare facilities continue to be poor in India due to the highly fragmented market and unpredictability of experiences. Accessibility doesn't only mean the presence of facilities and resources, but also if a patient can access the right kind of provider at the right point in time.


Going through a vague, intuitive discoverability process leads to an inconsistent, bumpy experience for the patient. Due to our societal construct, primary care is often overlooked, and people directly seek secondary care. Usually, when someone falls sick or faces an emergency of some sort, the first thing they do is forage through the Internet looking for a doctor and then directly turn up at the specialized clinic, skipping the general physician. But it's not entirely the individual's oversight since the existing system doesn't encourage preventive care in the first place, and patients are directly sent for tertiary care.

Moreover, there is no awareness of holistic health and well-being, and we do not act until it's too late. A lot of avoidable conditions become worse due to a lack of primary and preventive care.


Additionally, with over 3,000 healthcare start-ups busy building various Apps, it remains a subject of deep research whether the healthcare delivery system is likely to be more transactional and complex in time to come.


At LifeUno, our in-house doctor will keep an updated log of your health status. Our team will ensure that you can access the right doctor/specialist at the right time through our curated list of medical professionals and real-time health information. Our in-house doctor will make sure that the specialist (if needed) doesn't have to make an isolated attempt to diagnose and treat the patient; instead, we will work together with them to ensure the holistic wellness of the patient.



Affordability:

Prevention of diseases, particularly non-communicable diseases that are costly to cure, is the most cost-effective strategy for a country with a large population like India. However, the share of money spent on curative medical care is way more than the spending on preventive health. According to the latest numbers, diabetes is fast gaining the status of a potential epidemic in India, with over 62 million diabetics in the country. As per predictions, by 2030, up to 79.4 million individuals may have diabetes in India. Timely intervention, general awareness, and lifestyle modification are essential tools in preventive care that play a crucial role in lifestyle diseases and significantly impact health costs and outcomes.


At LifeUno, since our in-house doctors are already up to date with your real-time health information from a primary case perspective, you are guided in the right direction from an early stage, saving last-minute costs.



Accountability:

Many tertiary and secondary (district) level facilities are overburdened with disease load that primary, lower-level centers could easily manage. It results in compromise with quality and poor health outcomes. The lack of accountability is the overriding reason for this oversight. There are no provisions for taking end-to-end ownership of the patient's health in the current system. Every patient is treated in isolation with their respective doctors in a highly curative system, resulting in neglect of overall well-being. Since the relationship is transactional, it ceases to exist after symptomatic treatment.


LifeUno will solve this problem by accompanying and assisting the patient throughout their wellness journey. Our participatory model makes us a part of your life, where we make sure that not a single aspect of your health is ignored. Our regular vital tests, along with record maintenance, help you attain a 360-degree view of your health at all times.


To sum it all up, the spiking number of the sick population in India and lifestyle diseases underlines the need to collectively put in efforts to augment our primary and preventive healthcare system for us and by us.



12 views0 comments