Jacob Player

Publication Date



health, poverty, public poverty




Rural communities in India face a severe shortage of access to healthcare services. There is little public spending on healthcare, and what money the government does spend is largely distributed to urban settings rather than rural ones. Additionally, the private healthcare industry primarily serves urban settings. While there is a significant healthcare personnel shortage throughout India, it is particularly problematic in rural areas. Because of this issue, those in rural areas seeking healthcare services must often travel distances of up to 100 km to access them. Healthcare providers that are serving rural communities are often local and have little to no formal qualifications or training. High rates of poverty are prohibitive to accessing healthcare for many rural communities: nearly 90% of the population is not covered by insurance, and a majority of costs are paid out of pocket or by taking out loans. In rural communities. there are significant disparities in important health indicators such as high rates of infant mortality, malnutrition, maternal mortality, low rates of vaccination, and low life expectancy. Current practices that are addressing this issue include the use of telemedicine, the formation of women-centric health clinics that are often mobile, the expansion of mini hospitals into less population-dense areas. and the creation of formalized training and accountability programs for local health providers.