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India's Decaying Health Care

Updated on July 31, 2011

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 Hospitals and their equipment are very out of date, lack trained staff and have putrid sanitary conditions by first world standards.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.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      Thanks, India is an up and coming nation with so many people, I just hope they can handle it.

    • pramodgokhale profile image

      pramodgokhale 5 years ago from Pune( India)

      yes Sir,

      We need to overhaul our health systemunder government.

      The Hub is fact finding of India story and i do agree ,author has right to point out ritht and wrong .

    • profile image

      msivakumar 6 years ago


      This is a bit hard hitting but I am afraid its bit one-sided. While it is true that the general health care system in India is inadequate and needs a complete overhaul it is really not as bad as described above. India has one of the best Health care institutions among the world - some of the hospitals are comparable to the worlds best - and the increasing Medical tourism is the proof of the same. In fact due to the soaring health care costs in US and in other advanced countries, customers are preferring to countries like India.

      The improvement in the internal and rural health care system is sure needed and I guess the respective state governments are giving high priority to the same.



    • profile image

      Ghost32 6 years ago

      This is one helluva Hub!

      I honestly had no idea. Two million people to one hospital? Wow.

      Voted Up and Useful.