You know everything is disappointing with a country’s health care system when you rush a serious patient to a government-run hospital, only to find out that they don’t have the necessary infrastructure to treat the patient. The dearth of basic infrastructure at hospitals is a matter of life and death; stinking toilets, dirty corridors, and overflowing patients are the real issues one deals with while visiting a government hospital in India.
Almost 62% of the government hospitals in India don’t have a gynecologist on the pay roll, and about 22% of sub centers have not employed the required number of auxiliary nurse midwives. Both of which are directly proportional to reduce the newborn and maternal mortality rate.
80% of hospitals are overcrowded and they are serving more patients than their capacity. Patients are forced to share the same bed and at times they remain unattended for several hours. While, government healthcare centers have increased over the years, nothing has been done to keep a check on the absentees and to fill the vacancies. In numerous cases there are no pediatric surgeons to perform surgery on the infants, and then they are forced to shift the patients to the nearest medical college for further treatment, which is against the norms set by the Medical Council of India (MCI). There is an acute shortage of ventilators in the government hospitals.
One can hardly find any maintenance activity taking place. What become inefficient remains like that forever. At present, India is not even equipped to deal with diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and dengue on a large scale. Children in rural areas are struggling with malnutrition, and when these kids are brought to the government hospitals for treatment, it becomes all the more difficult to give them high doses of medical drugs.
Surgery scheduled for taking place on a particular day can get delayed without any notification. Moreover, only a few medical equipments are in working conditions. Patients have to visit other hospitals for test results from X-ray, ultrasound, MRI or CAT scan.
Sanitation, which should be the primary concern, is lacking in all the government hospitals. One can possibly find the washrooms in the hospital in unhygienic and dirty conditions.
However, things may change over time, as the 2017 health care budget of India is inclined to improve the current scenario. The government announced new plans to reduce the cost of medicines. Two new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are to be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat. This may help the daily wage earners of these states in accessing the nearest hospital. The government intends to eradicate leprosy by 2018, tuberculosis by 2025, and measles by 2020. The government is trying to fully cooperate with the foreign investors with liberal measures.