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India Accounts for 21% Diseases Worldwide, eHealth Way Forward [Report]

Despite plans to increase health care expenditure to 2.5% of GDP in the 12th five year plan, India still accounts for 21% of all diseases in the world. ehealth is the solution to this problem suggests a new report.

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Problems that plague the Indian healthcare system are:

  • Hospital bed density of 0.9 per 1000 population, short of WHO prescribed 3.511 per 1000 patients

  • 80% out-of-pocket spending on medical and health expenditure due to low insurance coverage

  • Inadequate manpower with 1 doctor for every 1,800 people. WHO recommends 1 doctor for every 600 people. This implies a shortage of 1.4 million doctors and 2.8 million nurses.

The report by Accenture suggests that greater public healthcare spending must be accompanied by digitisation and IT services to increase reach.

Measures to be taken to aid this are:

  • Hospital information systems and digitisation of records to help manage administration, financial and clinical services at hospitals

  • Supply chain automation and management for cold chain and logistics systems. Supply chain management has also been suggested for other medical necessities like drugs, vaccines and equipment.

  • Citizen portals to provide information and services to people

  • Handheld based data collection in rural areas where IT infrastructure is limited

  • Real time disease surveillance using analytics to help reduce surveillance costs and time taken to react to an outbreak

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