Thursday, May 15, 2008

State of health care in India

Indian health care features in the latest issue of TIME magazine. Its tough to read through it without being angry and frustrated.,8599,1736516,00.html

I live in Kolkata and my sister is a doctor. I keep hearing horror stories from her about our state hospitals. Power cuts are common in the state hospitals rendernig whatever equipment is available, useless. Cleanliness is difficult, true, given the huge rush of patients, but dogs and cats under beds???!!! Whenever something happens to a patient there are doctors being beaten up and blamed. What most dont realise that in the "system" the doctors are also victims.

And we compare ourselves with China? The next global superpower? With a population that cant afford basic healthcare, wont we be too sick to work our way up the ladder to that dream?

Added to that is the mentality of our population. Women are still denied basic care, here, in the heart of the city. Our house cleaners daughter is approx 5 months pregnant (at 16, so much for our govt policies, she married last year on her own). Her inlaws are yet to get an ultra sound done. They were reluctant to take her to the hospital at all, was forced by people like us. My baby's ayah is 24. Her sons are 7 and 6 yrs old. Recently her brother got married. Age of the bride- 15 yrs. This is Kolkata, not some out of the way village. In anything, any situation, women are always the first and the most to suffer.


  1. There's no other way but to get used to it.
    1. In my previous hospital, once I found out there's a bulk of vomitus in the floor just in front of a patient's bed. I leaped over it and reached the bed to see the patient. I had to do this for the next 3 days.
    2. Some health worker demonstrated the villagers how to use a condom by putting it on his thumb. The villagers too did so during sex.

    This is Indian healthcare.

  2. once i was admitted, icu - and the loo.. it had to be shared, was clogged. for one full week.


  3. Health care is an issue everywhere me thinks :( A friend of mine once told me horror stories about his hospital visits in a village in Bihar. *shudder*

    P.S. Irrelevant here, but thats SUCH an awfully cure display pic.