Significant Progress in Indian Rural Healthcare Over the Last Decade

New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) Rural healthcare in India has witnessed remarkable progress in the last decade, with people living in remote areas getting better access to quality health services. The expansion of telemedicine and adoption of digital health solutions, along with the government’s National Digital Health Mission, have contributed to reductions in maternal and child mortality rates, polio eradication, and the elimination of visceral leishmaniasis or Kala-azar.

Himanshu Sikka, project director at SAMRIDH, highlighted the positive impact of technology and innovation in healthcare: “Over the last decade, India has made substantial progress in healthcare through technology and innovation. Telemedicine and digital health solutions have expanded access to remote areas. Innovations in medical devices and diagnostics have enhanced affordability and accuracy.”

Despite advancements, challenges such as workforce shortages and technological gaps persist. Himanshu emphasized the need for sustained investment in training, technology, and community collaboration to achieve universal health coverage and bridge the urban-rural healthcare gap by 2030.

SAMRIDH, a blended finance facility supported by USAID, has leveraged technology in healthcare initiatives, such as using drones for sickle cell screening in remote areas of Odisha. This innovative approach not only improves healthcare outcomes but also contributes to rural economic development.

Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Founder of CureBay, highlighted the progress made in rural healthcare over the past decade, including advancements in medical technology and improved healthcare facilities. These developments have led to a notable decrease in maternal and child mortality rates, promoting preventive practices and accessible healthcare in rural areas.

Smriti Tandon, Co-founder of Online Chikitsa Mitra, addressed the existing gap in healthcare access between urban and rural India, emphasizing the need to address the shortfall in healthcare professionals. The startup has established a network of e-Clinics in remote areas, connecting rural patients to medical specialists through teleconsultations, bridging the healthcare gap in the country.

The evolution of healthcare in rural India is a testament to the transformative power of technology and innovation in improving access and quality of services. With continued investment and collaboration, achieving universal health coverage and bridging the urban-rural healthcare gap remains an attainable goal for the nation.


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