Global RiskNews Briefs

India’s social inequalities reflected in coronavirus care

According to recent data and first-hand accounts, India’s health care system discriminates heavily against those of lower economic statuses when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. India’s leaders have promised universal care and testing for COVID-19, however, care options range from severely overcrowded wards at public hospitals to spacious suites at private ones.

India’s health care system theoretically allows citizens to receive either free or highly subsidized care depending on income, however, the system has been chronically underfunded. This has resulted in overburdened government hospitals, days-long waits for basic treatments, and overworked staff. World Health Organization data shows that India’s government spent $63 per person on health care for its 1.3 billion population in 2016, whereas China spent $398 per person for its 1.4 billion people.

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