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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : India is at a pivotal moment in its health-care journey


Source: The Hindu

  • Prelims: Current events of national importance, WHO, NCDs, G20, age tax, mortality, fertility rate, AI, robotic surgery etc
  • Mains GS Paper I & II: Development and management of social sectors/services related to Health and education etc


  • India has become a strong voice for various critical issues like:
    • Climate change
    • Electrification
    • New age manufacturing
    • space race
  • India became the first country to successfully land a mission near the south pole of the moon and concluded a very successful G-20 presidency.




  • A certain totality of health to the realms of mental and social well-being and happiness beyond physical fitness, and an absence of disease and disability.
  • We cannot achieve health in its wider definition without addressing health determinants.


Non-communicable Diseases(NCD’s):


Common NCDs in India:

  • Diabetes
  • hypertension
  • heart attacks
  • cancer
  • respiratory issues
  • depression


India and NCDs:

  • India’s non-communicable diseases (NCD) burden will be nearly $4 trillion by 2030.
  • It will create an ‘age tax’ on India’s demographic dividend.


India’s healthcare development:

  • Apollo: It has made tremendous progress on key health metrics.
  • Infant mortality has improved by four times, maternal mortality has improved by seven times
  • Average life expectancy of an Indian is up nearly 30% from 55 years to over 70 now.
  • India’s expertise in highly specialized areas such as organ transplants, cardiology, oncology and more has made the country a fast-growing destination for medical value travel (MVT)
    • For the price and speed of access and the sheer quality of care.
  • India has emerged as a global MVT hub, particularly in the fields of oncology, orthopedics, and robotic surgery.
  • The introduction of proton beam therapy technology, making India a regional leader in cancer treatment.
  • Orthopedic procedures, including joint replacements and spinal surgeries, are conducted by highly skilled surgeons using minimally invasive techniques.
    • This attracts patients seeking top-notch orthopedic care at competitive prices.
  • Robotic surgery: India’s hospitals adopting robotic-assisted techniques for precision and faster recovery.
    • India’s expertise in this area draws international patients seeking minimally invasive, high-precision surgical interventions.
  • MVT is gaining strategic importance given its ability to create employment as well as earn foreign exchange.
  • India is one of the leading destinations for patients seeking care abroad, there is adequate headroom for growth.


India and Artificial Intelligence(AI):

  • India possesses a vast pool of talented data scientists, engineers, and health-care professionals who can drive innovation in AI-driven health-care solutions.
  • AI can make a significant impact in
    • AI-powered tools can enhance the accuracy and efficiency of medical diagnoses, leading to faster treatment decisions and better patient outcomes.
  • AI can help
    • predict disease outbreaks
    • analyze health-care data
    • optimize treatment plans
    • expediting health-care procedures
    • Revolutionizing drug discovery


Way Forward

  • The health-care industry should join hands and protect India from this menace by
    • increasing awareness
    • advocating better lifestyle choices
    • enabling comprehensive health checks that include:
      • proper scans instead of having just blood tests.
    • Fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors is crucial for releasing the vision.
    • Public-private partnerships can help create a conducive environment for MVT by jointly investing in infrastructure, promoting medical tourism, and setting up international health-care accreditation bodies.
    • India has made strides in AI applications for health care: It must continue to invest in research and development, foster collaborations between academia and industry, and create an ecosystem that encourages innovation.
    • AI expenditure in India is expected to reach $78(eleven point seven eight)billion by 2025.
      • It is expected to add $1 trillion to India’s economy by 2035.
    • By reimagining the health-care model, the country can
      • position itself as the global destination for medical value travel
      • powerhouse in AI-driven health-care solutions
      • leader in combating NCDs.
    • India must prioritize community health, foster public-private partnerships, and invest in innovation and research.
    • With concerted efforts and a commitment to excellence, a healthier and more prosperous India can be built for generations to come.



Besides being a moral imperative of the Welfare State, primary health structure is a necessary precondition for sustainable development.” Analyze.(UPSC 2021) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)