What’s in the news?
- Azim Premji University in collaboration with 17 regional NGOs across India has recently released a report titled ‘Health Care Equity in Urban India’.
- The report explores health vulnerabilities and inequalities in cities in India. It also looks at the availability, accessibility and cost of healthcare facilities, and possibilities in future-proofing services in the next decade.
Highlights of the Report
- The report noted that life expectancy among the poorest is lower by 9.1 years and 6.2 years among men and women, respectively, compared to the richest in urban areas.
- A third of India’s people now live in urban areas, with this segment seeing a rapid growth from about 18% (1960) to 28.53% (2001) to 34% (in 2019). Close to 30% of people living in urban areas are poor.
- The report, besides finding disproportionate disease burden on the poor, also pointed to a chaotic urban health governance, where the multiplicity of healthcare providers both within and outside the government without coordination are challenges to urban health governance.
- The other key findings include a heavy financial burden on the poor, and less investment in healthcare by urban local bodies.
- The report calls for strengthening community participation and governance; building a comprehensive and dynamic database on the health and nutrition status, including co-morbidities of the diverse, vulnerable populations; strengthening healthcare provisioning through the National Urban Health Mission, especially for primary healthcare services; and putting in place policy measures to reduce the financial burden of the poor.
- It also advocates for a better mechanism for coordinated public healthcare services and better governed private healthcare institutions.
- It added that urban healthcare has received relatively less research and policy attention.