India ranks 112 in the World Health Organisation (WHO) Ranking of The World’s Health Systems. When it comes to per-capita spending on Health Care, India spends a little over 6% of GDP on HealthCare.
These are the common statistics which we see every day. What I wish to share are the other aspects of Indian HealthCare system which provide a strong support.
Imagine this, India is the World’s Second Largest Populated country and it is projected that we will overtake China by 2050 and the reality of data according to WHO is that India has about 0.49 Doctors and 0.80 Beds for every 1,000 Population in the country. When you hear/see these numbers, it does sound alarming! How are we going to put up with the Population Growth, provide basic HealthCare and create an Ecosystem for building robust Health Services across the country?
If the situation is bad when compared to other developed economies, then how is our Average Life Expectancy has been steadily increasing over the years? In 1947, when India got Independent, Life Expectancy was 47 Years and today, after 65 Years of Independence, we are at 65 Years. By 2025, it is projected that Life Expectancy would be 72 Years.
All the Health data which we see is primarily considering the English Medicine System or Allopathy. India and also other countries offer alternatives to the English Medicine. What we will look into here is how the HealthCare is structured and Health Education along with fundamental understanding on how Government spends its 6% on HealthCare along with what reaches the population living Below the Poverty Line (BPL).
HealthCare Systems in India
India has the most number of HealthCare systems when compared to any country in the world. Below are the five most known systems.
- Allopathy (English Medicine)
- Ayurveda (Traditional Indian)
- Naturopathy & Herbal Medicine
Formal Education for Doctors
India offers education in Allopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Unani and Naturopathy & Herbal Medicine. All education is recognised and Doctors who pass out of colleges are given license to practice any where in the country.
The below graph shows the admission trend to Graduate Allopathic Medicine Course over the last 20 Years. If we carefully observe, there has been a decline in admissions in the last two years when compared to earlier. Interesting.
The Dental Education has quite picked up in the mean time. However, it is a poor state where the enrolments to Post Graduate Programs has been less than 10% of the actual Graduates. There are certain strong reasons as to why this happens and we will look at it later.
Now, let us have a look at how the Medical Education System is structured in India.
Allopathy accounts to only 39%, which is around 314 Medical Colleges. in the remaining 71%, Ayurveda has 31% (249 Colleges), Homeopathy has 23% (186 Colleges) and Unani has 39 Colleges, Siddha has 8 Colleges and Naturopathy has 10 Colleges.