Healthcare in India – Why Should It Be Free?

Healthcare is an essential aspect of human life, and its availability and affordability significantly impact society’s well-being. In India, healthcare is still a privilege and a large percentage of the population cannot afford it. Many people even fall into poverty due to heavy medical expenditures. While healthcare at government hospitals is free, it often lacks resources and proper equipment. 

Apart from the medical resources, the medical sector also faces a shortage of doctors, nurses, paramedics and healthcare workers. The situation remains worse in rural areas as it has many patients. India receives most of the healthcare facilities and assistance from private hospitals, and medical expenses paid out of pocket by people are around 65%. 

In 2018, the government devised an ambitious National Health Insurance Scheme offering over 100-500 million families living in poverty up to 500,000 rupees of medical coverage each year. Such schemes that aim at reforming the country’s health system are necessary as free healthcare will help India in various ways: 

Economic Benefit

A society that provides free healthcare to its citizens values human life and well-being. By providing free healthcare, India can ensure that every individual has access to the necessary healthcare services to live a healthy life. It can lead to a healthier population and a more productive workforce, resulting in economic growth.

Reduces Burden on the System

When healthcare is free, people are more likely to seek medical attention for minor ailments rather than waiting until they develop into more severe conditions. It can help prevent overcrowding in hospitals and clinics, reducing the strain on the healthcare system. Furthermore, free healthcare can help to reduce the spread of communicable diseases by providing access to medical care for everyone, regardless of their financial status.

Helps Improve Income Gap 

Access to healthcare is often considered a marker of economic and social status. Free healthcare can provide an equal opportunity for everyone to receive medical attention, regardless of their financial status. It can help to reduce the income inequality gap. 

Reduces the Morality Rates 

When people have access to free healthcare, they are more likely to receive preventive care and screenings, leading to early detection and treatment of diseases. It can lead to a healthier population and a reduction in the prevalence of chronic diseases. 

Helps Reduce Stress

Life is stressful as it is for people when it comes to earning a living, buying a house, raising a family, ensuring proper education for their children, and medical bills only add to it. So, for people who struggle to afford a living, free healthcare would be a big load off their heads if ever their family gets sick or they fall ill. 

Healthcare should not be a privilege but a right, especially for those who tumble through life struggling and making ends meet. Funding towards the healthcare sector and various beneficial schemes are necessary to bring in more doctors, nurses, facilities, equipment and medicines to heal every citizen properly. After the pandemic, it is evident that healthcare facilities need more resources, infrastructure and funding. 

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