NEW DELHI: Low spending on health and lack of enough qualified doctors are some the biggest challenges to improving healthcare in India, former Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya said on Monday.
Saying that India's healthcare sector is now more and more private-driven, Panagariya said that the expansion of medical colleges in India has only helped in filling posts in the private sector, while government hospitals in rural areas are finding it tough to hire highly qualified doctors.
In the government setup, doctors are largely getting educated while being on the job, Panagariya, Professor of Indian Political Economy at the Columbia University, said at the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum here.
Community health and grassroots level healthcare is prone to a high level of corruption, he said, adding that flagship programmes like Ayushman Bharat have not been as effective as expected.
"If GDP share is increased in health, there are big opportunities for India to improve healthcare," he said.
"The need is to drive community healthcare that reaches the community level... disease awareness, doctor training, quality products and R&D need to be the next attempt, and not trade offs," he said.