The State of Healthcare in India

The state of Indian healthcare is explained by Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Hrudayalaya in an interview to Businessindia magazine 5 Mar 2012.

“Indians are three times more prone to heart diseases than Europeans. Heart attack is the No.1 killer here. We need to do 2.5 million heart surgeries (in a year) and we do just 90,000. India produces just 80 cardiologists a year against 800 in the US. India has a shortage of one million doctors and two million nurses. About 70 per cent of our doctors live in urban India, whereas 70 per cent of our citizens live in rural India. If India sets up 100 medical colleges a year for the next five years, we may address shortage issues by 2025.”


India tops in open defecation in the world

According a latest report of  WHO/UNICEF Indians use open place for defecation, the highest in the world. This is something that should bring shame to Indians.

Some of the key findings of the report:

  • Around 638 million people do not have access to toilets in India followed by Indonesia (58m), China (50m), Ethiopia (49m), Pakistan (48m), Nigeria (33m) and Sudan (17m).
  • 18 percent of urban India still defecates in open while the percentage of rural India is as high as 69 percent.
  • It also underlines that open defecation leads to deadly diarrhoea and other intestinal diseases which kills hundreds of thousands of people worldwide every year.



Slums in India

According to NSSO these are some  facts about slums in India 2008-2009.

About 49 thousand slums were estimated to be in existence in urban India in
2008-09, 24% of them were located along nallahs and drains and 12% along
railway lines.
• About 57% of slums were built on public land, owned mostly by local bodies,
state government, etc.
• In 64% of notified slums, a majority of the dwellings were pucca, the
corresponding percentage for the non-notified ones being 50%.
• For 95% slums, the major source of drinking water was either tap or tubewell.
• Only 1% notified and 7% non-notified slums did not have electricity connection.
• About 78% of notified slums and 57% of the non-notified slums had a pucca road
inside the slum.
• About 73% notified and 58% non-notified slums had a motorable approach road.
• About 48% of the slums were usually affected by waterlogging during monsoon –
32% with inside of slum waterlogged as well as approach road to the slum, 7%
where the slum was waterlogged but not the approach road, and 9% where only
the approach road was waterlogged in the monsoon.
• The sanitary conditions in the slums in terms of latrine facility during 2008-09
showed considerable improvement since 2002. Latrines with septic tanks (or
similar facility) were available in 68% notified and 47% non-notified slums (up
from 66% and 35% respectively in 2002). At the other extreme, 10% notified and
20% non-notified slums (down from 17% and 51% in 2002) did not have any
latrine facility at all.
• About 10% notified and 23% non-notified slums did not have any drainage
facility. The corresponding proportions in 2002 had been 15% for notified and
44% for non-notified slums. Underground drainage systems or drainage systems
constructed of pucca materials existed in about 39% notified slums (25% in 2002)
and 24% non-notified slums (13% in 2002).
• Underground sewerage existed in about 33% notified slums (30% in 2002) and
19% non-notified slums (15% in 2002).
• Government agencies were collecting garbage from 75% notified and 55% nonnotified
slums. Among these slums, garbage was collected at least once in 7 days
in 93% notified and 92% non-notified slums. About 10% notified and 23% nonnotified
slums did not have any regular mechanism for garbage disposal.
• Over the last five years, facilities had improved in about 50% of notified slums in
terms of roads (both within-slum road and approach road) and water supply. The
incidence of deterioration of any of the existing facilities in notified slums during
the last five years was quite low (about 6% or below).
• In case of most slum facilities – sewerage and medical facilities being exceptions –
the facility was reported to have improved during the last five years in more than
20% of non-notified slums. Deterioration of any of the existing facilities in nonnotified
slums, like notified slums, was rare (about 9% or below).
• Facilities such as street light, latrine, drainage, sewerage and medical facilities
were each reported by more than 10% of notified slums to be non-existent both at
the time of survey and five years earlier. In case of non-notified slums, facilities
like street light, latrine, drainage, sewerage and garbage disposal were each
reported by more than 20% of the slums to be non-existent, both during the
survey and five years earlier.
• Where improvement had been brought about during the last 5 years, it was due to
the Government’s efforts in about 80-90% of slums, both notified as well as nonnotified
and for all the facilities. Improvement in educational facilities at primary
level was attributed to NGOs in 13% of the notified slums where such
improvement was reported. NGOs were also found to have played a role in the
improvement of latrine and sewerage system in non-notified slums.

Source: NSS Report no. 534 on “Some Characteristics of Urban Slums 2008-09”