Per Capita means “by head” or “per head”. It means the average per person. The per capita hospital rate means Hospital beds or facilities per thousand people.
India has an alarming per capita hospital rate of 0.7/1000 population. This is quite a small number as compared to other countries, as well as in regard to the population of the country. This has been a major problem in the current scenario of a pandemic and many have not had access to basic medical care and some have even died due to a lack of proper sanitation in government hospitals and lack of facilities of ventilators and ICUs. During this pandemic, the AIIMS hospital had no beds for new coronavirus patients; to state an example.
This pertains to a major problem for the lower middle class and the underprivileged of the society whose only access to health care is through government facilities. Poverty and mortality rate are both increasing at an alarming rate due to the lack of access to health care let alone after treatment.
While the health system of the country is structured from PHCs, CHCs, District Hospitals to multi-specialty hospitals, access to these at a crisis of the global pandemic remains questionable. While this is just one among the reasons, while the lack of personnel, lack of facilities and medicines and equipment combined with poor management all result in the deteriorating health conditions of the underprivileged and the need to resort to private health care facilities which return people back and forth in the vicious cycle of poverty and disparity in access to basic resources and the right to healthcare.
While temporary health camps are being set up in the current scenario, the government needs to focus on the need to increase the per capita rate, because access to healthcare is a basic right.
Contributed by Anjeela Prabhakar content writer at Mitti Ke Rang
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