Healthcare in India

Being healthy is being peaceful and happy. Health, as we all know, does not entail physical well being only; it also includes mental well being. It has direct impact on our general behaviour, our relationship with others and our work.

Good HealthToday, people have understood the meaning and importance of good health and are moving from competition to co-operation, from materialistic living to spirituality and yoga. 

More people are taking up sports, cycling and some kind of hobby like painting and music to rejuvenate themselves after a hard day's work.

"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

The word 'health' has been derived from the Old English word hale which means wholeness and being well. Many factors determine our health. These include our environment, employment conditions, genetic inheritance, income, and relationship with family and friends. Even gender! Well, the 10 oldest people in the age group of 114-116 years in the world today are women!

What Does Wellness mean?

Halbert L. Dunn, a doctor by profession and author of 'High-Level Wellness' first used the term 'wellness'. Mckinley Health Centre, University of Illinois has defined wellness as being a  'state of optimal well-being that is oriented toward maximizing an individual's potential. This is a life-long process of moving towards enhancing your physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental well-being.'

HealthHealth is, no doubt, an integration of mind, body, and spirit. It is actually a combination of having a purpose in life and striving to achieve it, living life to the fullest, realizing our potential, being adaptable, feeling safe and secure, having the ability to bounce back from adversity, continually learning, making the best of whatever you have and finding a balance between diverse aspects of our life - physical, social, spiritual, intellectual and occupational.

What if you are unwell and are undergoing treatment for a particular ailment?

Illness suggests a few lifestyle changes. Have patience, believe in the Almighty, keep a positive attitude towards life, keep busy with work or something you enjoy doing, and have medicines in time. Proper sleep is essential as is entertaining only positive thoughts. 

Practice 'Quantum Mind' according to which you move away from any thought that brings sorrow, negativity, anger, fear, or unhappiness. Meditate and let your body heal gradually. Remember, a seed is buried in the dark soil before it opens up to the world of sunshine and greenery!

Health in Present 12th 5 Year Plan in India

The 12th 5-Year Plan focuses on health care and health issues in the country. The government has proposed to strengthen the Public Sector health care system, increase expenditure on health care, encourage cooperation between Private and Public sector healthcare services, expand and strengthen skilled human resources, look into prescription drug reforms along with more coordinated delivery of health services.
  • National Health Mission would have a universal coverage with more flexibility endowed to States. Public Health Cadre would aid in better community participation, quality control and management of health programmes. 
  • Building effective Health Information Systems and reducing in Maternal Mortality Ration (MMR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Total Fertility rate (TFR), reducing malnutrition among children, out-of-pocket expenditure on health and anemia among women are other goals.
  • The government is also working towards increasing the child sex ratio from 914 to 950. It proposes to increase public expenditure on health and use general taxation as the main source of healthcare financing. Also, price controls and price regulations on essential drugs would be enforced.
  • Public Health care and medical facilities would be accessible to people living in remote areas, to differently-able marginalized groups, SC and ST populations, minorities, nomadic tribes and Particularly Vulnerable tribal Groups (PVTGs) through aanganwadis and sub-centres.
  • The main aim is to raise total expenditure on health in the Centre and the States.
  • PPP and Not-for-Profit PPP models would be used to expand facilities for tertiary care in the Twelfth plan.

Health Schemes for a Healthy India

  • 6 institutes on the line of AIIMS, New Delhi and up-gradation of medical colleges is in the offing under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
  • Public facilities comprise of Rogi Kalyan Samitis (RKS), nutrition days held in villages along with Jan Sunwais (public hearings) and Common Review Missions for better accountability and response on the part of Public Health facilities.
  • Under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), institutional deliveries are being promoted by giving cash assistance to pregnant women for reducing maternal and infant mortality and provision of better ante-natal care.
  • Universal Immunization Programme involves full immunization in children for Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccine in endemic districts and Pentavalent vaccine (a combination vaccine against Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza B). The fight against Polio has been almost won due to efforts of the government.
  • Promotion of Home Based Neonatal Care (HBNC) through ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) has helped in helped in improved new born care practices in the community, promotion of breast feeding, use of ORS (Oral Re-hydration Solution), spacing of births and availability of essential drugs in public facilities.
  • The system of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) under Twelfth Plan strategy ensures a much broader coverage of health services. Quality health services would be available for all citizens regardless of income level, gender, social status or religion without any cash payment by the beneficiaries.
  • All India and State level Public Health Service Cadres would be introduced for giving more importance to public health and effective management of UHC.
  • Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) which provides cashless in-patient treatment for beneficiaries through an insurance-based system would cover the entire population below the poverty line.
  • Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) assures health care to senior citizens and retired personnel who have served in Central Government bodies. The scheme for pensioners provides medical assistance to retired Central Government employees, their dependents and widows, freedom fighters, police personnel, retired judges of the Supreme court, Parliament Secretaries, and their families. It also includes ex-governors, ex-vice-Presidents of India, and accredited journalists. CGHS also offers such health care through traditional methods of treatment including Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Yoga, and Homeopathy.
  • The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has been strengthened under the universal coverage of the National Health Mission (NHM). Though the focus on covering rural regions and people will continue, there will be health schemes for providing health care to the urban poor, especially those people who reside in slums.

  • NHM would also give the States more flexibility to channel health care measures in both rural and urban areas through involvement at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of health care.

Health as Covered in Indian Constitution

In a welfare state, it is the duty of the government to make policies and reforms for better healthcare of its citizens. Health is a state subject and the government comes up with innovative health schemes for the betterment of health care services from Public and Private facilities. 

Items such as vital statistics, medical education, Food and Drugs, Medical profession, population control, etc are incorporated in the Concurrent List or List-III (Seventh Schedule) given in Part XI of the Constitution of India.

The Indian Medical Association

IMAThis is a representative voluntary organization pertaining to Doctors of Modern Scientific System of Medicine and manages the interests and well being of the doctor community.

Know More About the Indian Medical Association

Indian Medical Association, Indraprashta Marg, IP Estate, New Delhi, Delhi 110002
Phone: 011 2337 0009
Email:[email protected]
Mon-Sat 10:00 AM-17:30 PM

Health Days You Always Wanted to Know About

January 30: World Leprosy Eradication Day
January 15: IMA Community Services Day
January 30: Anti Leprosy Day

February 4: World Cancer Day
February 12: Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day

March 6: Glaucoma Day
March 11: No Smoking Day
March 12: World Kidney Day
March 15: World Disabled Day/World Consumer Rights Day
March 16: Measles Immunisation Day
March 24: World TB Day

April 7:  World Health Day
April 17: World Haemophilia Day
April 19: World Liver Day
April 25: World Malaria Day

May 6: World Asthma Day
May 8: World Red Cross Day
May 9: World Thalassaemia Day
May 12: World Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Day/International Nurses day
May 19: World Hepatitis Day
May 28: International Women’s Health Day
May 31: Anti-tobacco Day/World no tobacco Day

June 8: World Brain Tumor Day
June 14: World Blood Donation Day

July 1: Doctors Day (In India)
July 11: World Population Day
July 29: ORS Day

August 1-8 World Breast Feeding Week
25th August-8th September: Eye Donation Fortnight

September 1 to 7: National Nutrition week
September 12: World Oral Health Day
September 21: World Alzheimer’s Day
September 26: World Day of the Deaf
September 28:  World Heart Day/World Rabies Day

October 1: International Day for the Elderly
October 2: National Anti Drug Addiction Day
October 10: World Mental Health Day
October 12 World Sight Day (Thursday of October Every Year)
October 12: World Arthritis
October 16: World Food Day
October 17: World Trauma Day
October 20: World Osteoporosis Day
October 21: World Iodine Deficiency Day
October 24: World Polio Day
October 26: World Obesity Day
October 29: World Stroke Day
October 30: World Thrift Day

November 2: World Pneumonia Day
November 10: World Immunization Day
November 14: Diabetes Day
November 18: World Epilepsy Day
November 19: World COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Day
November 15 to 21: New Born Care Week

December 1: World AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) Day
December 2: National Pollution Prevention Day
December 3: International Day of Disabled Persons
December 9: World Patient Safety Day

Medical Tourism in India

The health care system in India comprises Public and Private sector health service providers. The government provides free and low-cost health care facilities at the Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary levels. 

India has emerged as a medical tourist destination due to well-equipped hospitals, quality healthcare infrastructure, and specialized doctors. Other countries receiving medical tourists in Asia are Thailand and Singapore.

About Medico-Legal Cases in India

MedicalMedico-legal cases (MLC) are an important part of medical practice and Medical Officers (MO) frequently encounter such cases. 

It is very important that such cases are handled properly and accurate documentation of cases is done in order to avoid legal complications. 

A case can be labeled as MLC only after being based on the sound professional judgment after clinical examination and also recording the detailed medical history of the patient.

Medico-legal cases include cases pertaining to accidents like Road Traffic Accidents (RTA), industrial accidents, poisoning, alcohol intoxication, burns and scalds, chemical injuries, criminal abortions, drug overdose, unnatural deaths, etc. 

National Health Mission  

The National Health Mission (NHM) encompasses its two Sub-Missions, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the newly launched National Urban Health Mission (NUHM). 

The main programmatic components include Health System Strengthening in rural and urban areas- Reproductive-Maternal- Neonatal-Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A), and Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases. 

Health Acts in India

Article-21 envisages the Right to Life for every Indian citizen. Health, sanitary conditions, security and freedom all come under this provision. In a Welfare state, the government in India makes regulations to guarantee good health care for marginal sections of people.

Various Acts related to Health are furnished below -
  • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and Rules
  • The Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act and Rules
  • Acts in Disability
  • Insecticides Act and Rules
  • Maternity Benefit Act and Rules
  • Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940
  • The Pharmacy Act, 1948
  • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and Rules
  • The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
  • The Transplantation of Human Organs Act and Rules
  • Environmental Acts and Rules
  • Consumer Protection Act and Medical Profession
  • Mental Health Act, 1987
  • Food Safety and Standards Regulations
  • Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998
  • The Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005
  • The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010
  • The Prohibition Of Sexual Harassment Of Women At Workplace Bill, 2010
  • Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011
  • Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011
  • The National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Act, 2021
  • Public Notice regarding amendment of Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954
  • Notification of the Mental healthcare (Rights of Persons with Mental Illness) Rules, 2018
  • Notification of the Mental Healthcare (State Mental Health Authority) Rules, 2018
  • Notification of the Mental Healthcare (Central Mental Health Authority and Mental Health Review Boards) Rules, 2018
  • Notification for appointing date on which the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 comes into force
  • Transplantation of Human Organs Act

Bio-Medical Waste Management

Bio-MedicalHealth and health-care can be achieved only if bio-medical waste is taken care of in a regulated way. The Hippocratic Oath reiterates 'Do not harm' and spread of infection through such waste material can be controlled only by proper management.

Biomedical Waste (management and Handling) Rules 1998, Amendment, 2003 lays down rules for the same.

Bio-medical waste means the waste generated during diagnosis, treatment or immunization of patients or in research activities etc.

Waste generated from hospitals comprises of non-hazardous waste (85%), infectious waste (10%) and non-infectious but hazardous waste. Persons at risk are doctors, patients, nurses and visitors along with other workers in the hospital.

Some treatment options are mentioned below -
  • Human tissues, body parts (Anatomical waste): Incineration/deep burial.
  • Lab cultures, specimens (Microbiology and bio-technology waste): Autoclave/ Microwaving/incineration
  • Out dated medicines: Incineration/destruction/disposal in secured landfills.
  • Soiled wastes (with body fluids and blood): Incineration/autoclave/microwaving
  • Needles, Syringes, blades, glass (Waste Sharps): Disinfection/autoclaving/microwaving/mutilation/shredding.

Euthanasia in India

EuthanasiaEuthanasia is also known as mercy killing. Since March 2018, passive euthanasia is legal in India under strict guidelines. This was allowed by the Supreme Court of India following a judgment in 2011 in the Aruna Shanbaug case. 

She was in a vegetative state for past 37 years in King Edward Memorial hospital. According to the verdict, life support to patients in a permanent vegetative state could be withdrawn.

Passive euthanasia involves withdrawal of treatment or nutrition/water which would enable the patient to live.

The decision has to be taken in the best interest of the patient and even if such a decision is taken by relatives, doctor or next friend, it has to be approved from the High Court concerned. However, active euthanasia by means of lethal injection is illegal.

It must be noted here that Section 309 IPC, which penalizes those individuals who survive suicide attempts to has been scrapped in 2015.


AYUSH refers to Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

Know More About AYUSH

The department of Indian System of Medicine and  Homeopathy  (ISM&H) originated in 1995 and was later re-named as AYUSH in 2003. 

This was done to give focused attention to development, awareness generation and research in the field of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani , Siddha and Homoeopathy. The department is an independent Ministry since 2014.

AYUSH was also the nodal agency for coordinating diverse activities for the celebration of International Yoga Day on June 21, 2015.

Ministry of AYUSH
Ayush Bhawan, B Block, GPO Complex, INA, New Delhi – 110023 
Call Centre – 1800-11-0180,1964: Complaint Cell – 011-24600216, 

Various Allopathy/modern medical practitioners are planning to move court against Government's plan to allow AYUSH practitioners to adopt modern medicine. 

They are of the opinion that AYUSH medical community must confine themselves only to traditional systems and not incorporate modern medical technology for improving their treatment methods.

Also, the changes made to the draft bill for Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Amendment by the Union Government may allow the AYUSH doctors to conduct non-invasive abortions.

Indian Medical Association proposes to take immediate legal steps against this decision of the government and file anti-quackery writ petitions (WPs) in various High Courts.

Why is Medical Insurance Useful for You

Health insurance protects you from financial burden that come with health problems such as surgery, admission in hospital, various tests and bed charges etc. 

Medical treatment has become expensive and it is a good decision to protect yourself and your family by opting for a medical insurance. 

Health insurance protects you from high medical costs, helps you to get timely medical care and aid you to avail of preventive and screening services. So, even if you have good health, take a medical insurance.

Prevention is Better than Cure

CureNowadays, people are finding diverse methods of keeping themselves happy and active as they have realized that it is better to be health and kicking than lying on the hospital bed and waiting for the treatment to get over!

Well, there are many ways you can keep fit and healthy. Some of these are taking up sports activities, morning walks, exercises, painting, music, yoga, dancing or just upgrading yourself by learning a new skill! 

The old maxim still stands true 'Health is wealth'. So true, isn't it? In short, good health is about having proper food, peaceful thoughts and moderate exercise.
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