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On affordable health care and the need for innovative health care programs in India

What do the passengers of the Titanic have in common with the women suffering cancer in India? As put really well by Vineet Gupta in The Hindu – their economic status.

“When the Titanic sank, the passengers’ economic status played a part in their survival prospects; the lifeboats could take only half of those on board. A first-class ticket practically guaranteed survival, while only half of third class passengers could save themselves. The story of women suffering from cancer in India is remarkably similar, and the lack of progress in making health care.”

Technological progress in communication, businesses, IT and transportation has revolutionised modern life; though healthcare is still lagging desperately behind in India. Millions of Indians struggle with the exorbitant cost of cancer treatment in India, and trying to stay alive has wiped out entire life savings, making them bankrupt.

However, many new innovative programmes and steps have been taken by  the government and industry based on the principles of social and economic equality. Innovative healthcare delivery models such as HCG & Arvind Eye have furthered the availability of quality treatments at affordable prices to the those who need it. Another such model is that of Dr. Devi Shetty and the Narayana Hrudayalaya Group of Hospitals which aims to make world-class healthcare affordable to the masses. A recent development includes the launch of the world’s only affordable biosimilar breast cancer drug whose benefits to women with certain breast cancer is nothing short of a revolution.

As written by him, “We are in the best of times where the importance of women rights and women empowerment is truly understood by the political class and the general population.” We need more such programmes which ensure affordable and accessible health care options, for all sections of the society.



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