[Editorial Analysis] Healthcare in India: Rarely an Election issue, despite limited access

Mains Paper 2: National
Prelims level: Lokiniti-CSDS study regarding healthcare
Mains level: Issues related to the Health sector


• In India for decades, health-related public policies and healthcare infra have been a part of frequent policymakers’ discussion.

• Yet it rarely becomes a political issue.

• However, the as per Lokniti-CSDS 2019 survey found that people expect the govt to take max responsibility for providing basic medical care.

• But in the real voting scenario, health never becomes an electoral issue for voters nor do parties focus on health infra in their manifesto.

Health in Elections:

• In several post-election studies by Lokniti-CSDS, less than 1% of voters have said health issue was their voting priority.

• Even after the Pandemic impact, in Bihar 2021 elections, less than 1% of voters considered health an issue while voting which is similar to Bihar 2015 elections opinion.

Access to healthcare:

• In 2019 SDSA Study found that:

1. 70% of the locations have public healthcare services,
2. Health services availability is less in rural areas (65%) compared to urban areas(87%).
3. The proximity to healthcare services is higher in urban localities where 64% of the public in urban areas can access health services by walking, while only 37% in rural areas can do so.

Public health experience:

• The study conducted by Lokniti-CSDS in collaboration with Azim Premji University during 2016-19 found that 30% of the surveyed people shared negative experiences in availing public healthcare facilities.

• It has a higher impact on marginal sections who avoid treatment because of a lack of infrastructural and monetary resources.

• The Lokiniti-CSDS’s State of the Nation Survey of 2018 found that 25% of people are confirmed taking a loan and this is higher for SC and Poor sections.

• 43% of the people had someone in their family who went without medical treatment due to scarcity of funds.

• In rural 47% of people are underwent without treatment.

Way ahead:

• The absence of a positive public healthcare experience not only pushes people towards private healthcare facilities but also pushes the issue of health out of public political considerations.

• It is high time for India to make the healthcare system accessible to the needy and marginal sections of society.


Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the cabinet, consider the following statements:

1. It is mentioned only in the Article 352 of the Indian Constitution.

2. It has been constituted in the Article 352 by 35th Constitution (amendment) Act.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: A

Subscribe to Get Weekly updates

Get daily current affair video, detailed current affairs PPT for quick revision and Free One Liner PDF directly in your inbox. Subscribe now to get this month's one liner for FREE.