India is one of the fastest growing nations with an annual GDP of 7.5 percent and will be the planet’s most populous nation by 2050. Focus on Healthcare Can Help India Become a Superpower, as it’s domestic consumption (currently the sixth largest economy in the world with a population of 1.4 billion,) will be worth $6 trillion by the year 2030. It is the world’s largest democracy, on its way to tremendous economic and social transformation, and will see fast growth. With all its challenges, India may soon attain the status of the world’s third largest economy and subsequently become a global superpower. 

Why India Must Focus on Healthcare

For India to attain the status of a global superpower, it must ensure that it achieves Universal Healthcare for every citizen. Although it has achieved health targets such as polio eradication, there’s still work to be done in improving access and affordability of healthcare. One out of three Indians has health insurance, and more than 60 percent of all healthcare spend in India is paid out of pocket, as compared to 12 percent in the US. Indians are still struggling to afford healthcare services, and there’s a shortage of infrastructure and skilled personnel, with seven doctors and seven hospital beds per 10,000 people in India. To meet the necessities of the populous nation, there must be an overhaul of physical and human infrastructure. India already is facing the issue of non-communicable diseases, which may form almost 70 percent of India’s disease burden by the year 2030. To prevent this from happening, India must focus on early detection, preventive healthcare and spread awareness on the importance of physical activity and healthy lifestyles. 

India must also work on lessening pollution levels in all of its major cities (nine of the world’s ten most air-polluted cities are in India). Urban congestion may also hamper the quest for a healthy future, as there are more houses than clean water bodies. India can achieve its healthcare goals by expanding its healthcare services, infrastructure, awareness initiatives and provision of affordable insurance. Both the private and public sector must put in efforts to improve the health and wellness of the nation. The introduction of initiatives like Ayushman Bharat is a step in the right direction and can take India towards a healthier future, through better healthcare coverage. To make better healthcare a reality, healthcare infrastructure must be in place, be it primary, secondary or tertiary healthcare infrastructure. Businesses must be responsible and promote health and wellness through their products, and ensure affordable access to fitness, healthcare and wellness services for the promotion of a healthy lifestyle.  

Policy efforts by governmental bodies and public-private partnerships can help India move towards a healthier and sustainable future. Skilled personnel, affordability and access to healthcare services in both urban and rural areas, an inclusive care culture and specialist care will help India meet the goal of #Healthcare4all and help it become a global superpower.