As humans, we are all subjected to fall sick at some point in their life. to get better, we need health professionals to render services. Stats show that 80 percent of the medical workforce is distributed in the top 8-10 cities of the country making it difficult for people from the rural areas to seek the same kind of medical help. Another problem predominantly arising is affordability. As the industry is dominated by the private sector, the charges are too expensive for the common man to bear.
Government schemes like the Ayushman Bharat targets providing free medical services to about 50 crore citizens but its fruitfulness is highly doubted due to limited resources catering to the cause. India obligates about 1.1-1.2 percent of its budget on healthcare which is considerably low when compared to estimates that state we should be spending about 4 percent on this sector. India needs to invest in primary health care to be self-sustaining in the healthcare industry.
Using technology in healthcare to plug gaps
The healthcare personnel can offer the best when they pair their services with technology. Because of the concerning gap between the doctor and patient ratio, some areas do not have adequate physicians. Private players like Practo and Lybrate are trying to assist in this by leveraging technology to provide a host of online services that include finding doctors, scheduling appointments and even taking care of payments. To address the challenge of dispensing affordable healthcare, another private sector firm, Wish Foundation has started using video conferencing to deliver online and offline care thereby optimizing the cost for patients through video consultations. According to the report ‘Healthcare Investment Sentiments 2019’ investors are interested in putting money into digitally-enabled healthcare models. They also see scope in tying up with eye and dental clinics to dispense online services. The National Health Stack, which has been declared by the NITI Aayog, will be using unique digital IDs to facilitate the collection of patient healthcare data across India. This will stabilize the cost of delivery of services incurred by the government and the private sector and will hence make more room for investment to deliver quality care. A better-funded system will ultimately reduce the cost of care for patients.
E-learning: Refining the standard of technology in healthcare
Technological advances are facilitating outcome-based learning. Between having a busy schedule and a pirate life it becomes challenging for doctors to practice CME. By taking up online courses and tests from reputed e-learning platforms, they can excel in their career in the convenience of their homes or clinics. The next phase to a blooming industry will be the formal recognition of online medical courses by the Medical Council of India.
Technology can bridge the gap between affordability and quality services. If employed suitably it can serve as a base for an efficient and effective healthcare system that will lead India to new heights.