Major Dimensions of Inequalities in India: Healthcare

  • 2014
  • Sona Mitra

Dimensions of health inequalities operating in the global South are mostly identified by the inequalities associated with access barriers to healthcare facilities. Health inequalities emerge for a number of reasons - one of the major ones being due to inadequate public health financing and public provisioning of healthcare. The need for public funding in health cannot be overemphasised given that there are large positive externalities associated with such spending. The presence of such positive externalities means that if left to the market, there is a strong likelihood that the wider positive external effects would be ignored. Therefore lack of adequate public provision of healthcare is likely to result in healthcare being socially underprovided as well as the poor being denied access to adequate health care. In other words, public health provisioning is necessary both from efficiency as well as equity point of view. The inequities arising from inadequate provisioning of healthcare facilities in turn are aggravated by the existing disparities based on place of residence (rural - urban), caste, occupation, gender, religion, education entitlements and socioeconomic status.

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