Bridging The Rural and Urban Divide in India’s Healthcare Sector

The unequal distribution of healthcare service is among the major issues that India has long been grappling with. The rural population in our country stands at over 73 percent and yet the majority of the healthcare infrastructure only caters to the remaining 27 percent of the population living in urban areas.

This mainly stems from a lack of skilled doctors, inadequate facilities and unavailability of proper medicines. However, the disparity is not just concentrated in the rural areas but the country as a whole too. The deficit can be seen in infrastructure, insurance coverage, medical stores and more.

To bridge the disparity in the availability of healthcare services between urban and rural areas, the central and state government urged the private healthcare units to set up centers in rural and semi-rural regions in the year 2016. In response, many healthcare service providers have come up with some robust initiatives.

For instance, Nayati Healthcare, a private hospital chain led by Niira Radia strives in providing quality and affordable medical services to the people living in the remote villages of Uttar Pradesh.  The group has pioneered in bringing the most advanced tertiary level medical facilities to the people living in Tier-2 and 3 cities. One of its hospitals, Nayati Medicity, Mathura, a Multi Super Specialty hospital with 377 beds covering 22 specialties was established in 2016.

Under the leadership of Niira Radia, Nayati Healthcare is endeavoring to bring super-specialty world-class healthcare in the backwoods of tier II and tier III cities. “We are the only quaternary care hospital in the region catering to a population of over 30 million,” said the chairperson of Nayati Healthcare. It is the first hospital in a Tier III city to have been accredited with NABH and it is the only NABH approved blood bank in UP. It is also the only Multi Super Specialty hospital in the region that offers end-to-end cancer care including complex diagnostic tests and treatments such as radiation and Bone Marrow Transplant.

Carrying the same ethos and mission like Nayati is SMART Health India, a health-tech initiative that offers affordable, high-quality healthcare by harnessing technology. The initiative was launched by George Institute researchers in India, Australia, and the UK. It enables community health workers and medical experts to provide state-of-the-art healthcare through mobile health technologies.

More initiatives like SMART Health India and those taken by Niira Radia-led Nayati Healthcare can undoubtedly help plug the gap in India’s healthcare sector. However, what is equally important is the introduction of new systems and policies. Robust infrastructure in all forms – transport, communication, education as well as digitization of villages can help improve the overall health quotient of India’s villages and towns.