- Politics and Social Issues
India's Decaying Health Care
India continues to struggle to get out of its third world status. In a sense, it is like a bicycle trying to go uphill. Part of India seems to be able to move from its third world status, yet because of its sheer size geographically and in population, the ability is simply stopped.
Much of India's infrastructure is and remains dated back to a time in the sixties. India has always been to a foreigner, dirty, filthy compared to any first world country. This is especially true if one visits outside the usual tourist destinations.
India has one of the worse health care systems even among other third world countries. Hospitals and their equipment are very out of date, lack trained staff and have putrid sanitary conditions by first world standards. India spends only 1% of its domestic income on health care. As India becomes more Western-like in diet habits, it has several problems such as the highest infant mortality rate, fighting malaria and diabetes. They have a staggering 50 million such people. This is the highest of any country in the world.
Some hospitals are inundated with infant deliveries- 20,000 a year or about one every half hour. Some areas have a single major hospital that servers two million locals. These more rural hospitals truly are a nightmare. Many sleep two patients to a bed, relatives must sleep on the floor, the aroma of urine stench lingers through the halls as ceiling fans circulate it. There is worse. Many recycle needles due to costs and fail to sanitize them. It is routine for four doctors to see 400 patients a week. Infections that are commonly cured or controlled in First world countries cause death in India. Sometimes, the hospital is so short of supplies, relatives of patients are told to spend their own money to get them and bring them to the doctor. Many times after a patient is hooked to an IV, they become sick due to contamination from bacteria that had not been killed. Patients have died. Even some of the drugs made in India arrive at the hospital in a compromised state and are not safe. Fungus has been found in some IV solutions upon arrival at the hospital. If a person dies in India and it has been found that it was the government\hospital's fault, India pays $11,000 for the wrongful death.