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India lacks a complete pediatric cardiac-care service

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Issues related to development of social sector involving healthcare


Directions: Totally mains based topic, you can use it as an example in issues related to healthcare.

Source: The Hindu



  • Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is the most common congenital disorder(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S)
    • It is responsible for 28% of all congenital birth defects, and accounts for 6%-10 % of all the infant deaths in India.


Prevalence rate in India:

  • According to the Pediatric Cardiac Society of India (PCSI), congenital cardiac anomalies are one in every 100 live births.


Reasons for negligence of Pediatric cardiac-care:

  • Economically unviable: Creating a comprehensive pediatric cardiology care service is usually considered economically unviable
  • Resource intensive: It requires infrastructure investment that politicians and policymakers choose to evade.


Issues Involved:

  • Infrastructure problems: There are 22 hospitals and less than 50 centers in India with infant and neonatal cardiac services.
  • Center location: Most centers are located in regions with a lower burden of CHD.
    • For instance, Kerala has eight centers offering neonatal cardiac surgeries for an estimated 5(four point five)lakh annual childbirths.
  • Populous Uttar Pradesh and Bihar: They do not have a center capable of performing neonatal cardiac surgery.
  • Poverty: Transporting sick neonates from States with little or no cardiac care facilities to faraway centers for accurate diagnosis and treatment burdens parents financially.
  • Non-availability of equipment: There is the non-availability of crucial equipment that is essential for diagnosis of heart diseases in the unborn.


Congenital heart diseases (CHD):           


  • They are problems with the heart’s structure that are present at birth.
  • They may change the normal flow of blood through the heart.
  • Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect.


Way forward:

  • Neonatal care and management: Pediatricians say antenatal detection of congenital anomalies is crucial for neonatal care and management.
    • So developing related infrastructure is a step in the right direction.
  • Learning from states: Kerala’s ‘Hridayam (for little hearts)’, aimed at early detection, management and support to children with CHD
    • The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme offers free specialized surgeries.
  • The National Health Protection Scheme (Ayushman Bharat): It will financially assist poor families.
    • Implementing this scheme is a step forward.
    • Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have already started.


Insta Links:

Child Mortality


Mains Links:

Q. Appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is a prerequisite to achieve ‘Health for All’ in India. Explain.(UPSC 2018)