National Health Profile 2013: Salient Features

by Dr. Simi Paknikar on  July 21, 2014 at 3:42 PM Health In Focus   - G J E 4
The recently released National Health Profile 2013 shows that despite improvements, India's health care infrastructure is insufficient to meet the rising health needs of the population.
National Health Profile 2013: Salient Features
National Health Profile 2013: Salient Features

Here are some of the salient features of the National Health Profile 2013 that was recently released by the Health Minister of India:

The changing patterns of lifestyle and increasing stress of a region are often reflected in the number of heart cases. Unfortunately, the number of cases with coronary artery disease is set to increase to 6.1 crore by 2015.  Another lifestyle disease, diabetes is also set to increase to 4.6 crore cases by the same year.

The number of cancer cases is also likely to increase in the next six years.  It is estimated that the total number of cancer cases will increase by around 21 percent by 2020.  The cancer cases that may increase are mouth, prostate, liver, gallbladder and lung cancers, and breast, cervical and ovarian cancers in females.

The infant mortality rate is very low in some states like Kerala and is unfortunately high in states like Assam, Meghalaya and Rajasthan, which reflects the variability in health resources in different parts of the country.  The overall infant mortality rate has shown a slight decrease over the past few years.

Given the current and growing health concerns, it raises the question - do we have adequate infrastructure to deal with the rising problem?  Sadly, the answer is negative. A huge disparity is present between the available doctors and the general population.  Current information suggests that there is one doctor for every 1217 patients. This is in sharp contrast with the global ratio of one doctor for every 719 patients. Primary health centers have around 29,500 doctors.  

Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have the most number of doctors, while Goa, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh have the least.  This can be explained in part by the relative size of the states and the number of medical colleges in each state.

Thus, though there has been an improvement in health infrastructure, it may not be enough to meet the rising demands.  Therefore, policy makers do have a hard task before them, to ensure that each person has adequate access to preventive and curative treatments.

Source: Medindia

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