Wednesday December 12, 2018

24 Percent Rise in Rural Women accessing Government Hospitals between 2004 and 2014 in India: Report

Overall, there was a six per cent rise in dependence on public healthcare for out-patients and seven per cent for in-patients over the decade ending 2014

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Dec 7, 2016: There was a 24 percent rise in rural women accessing public healthcare between 2004 and 2014, according to a new report by Brookings India, a think tank, significant in a country where half the rural population uses private healthcare, which is four times costlier.

Overall, there was a six per cent rise in dependence on public healthcare for out-patients and seven per cent for in-patients over the decade ending 2014, said the Brookings report, which analysed National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data over this period.

An in-patient is formally admitted for at least one night to a hospital, while an out-patient visits a hospital, clinic, or associated facility for diagnosis or treatment.

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For out-patient care, 74.9 percent of ailing patients (who sought care) exclusively accessed a private facility in 2014, compared to 79.7 percent in 2004. The biggest decrease was seen among rural women, as we said. While 78.2 percent of them sought private care in 2004, 70.4 percent did in 2014.

The percentage of in-patients seeking public care increased from 42.3 percent in 2004 to 45.4 percent in 2014; the percentage of rural women accessing public care rose from 45.1 percent in 2004 to 56.1 percent in 2014.

“The number of people seeking private healthcare, however, might be an underestimation, as NSSO surveyors are instructed to mark all those who went to both government and private facilities as ‘only going to government facilities’,” said the Brookings report.

Indians spend eight times more in a private hospital than a government hospital, according to an analysis of National Health Accounts (NHA) 2013-14 data by The Hindu newspaper.

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Despite the decline in exclusive dependence on private care, 29 of every 1,000 Indians pointed to the unsatisfactory quality of healthcare, the most commonly cited reason for not accessing a public hospital.

Long waiting periods at government health services appears to be an increasing bottleneck in seeking public care. In 2004, 6.8 of every 1,000 cited this as a reason for not using a public hospital; it rose to 18.6 in 2014.

Of 930,000 doctors in India, 11.4 percent (106,000) work for the government. This means there is one government doctor for every 11,528 people, according to the National Health Profile 2015.

Public-health centres across India’s rural areas — 25,308 in 29 states and seven Union territories — are short of more than 3,000 doctors, the scarcity rising 200 per cent (or tripling) over 10 years.

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The number of people not using medical services fell from 15.1 in every 1,000 in 2004 to 12.4 in 2014, which implies an 18 per cent increase in Indians seeking some form of healthcare.

There was an increase, however, in the proportion of people not seeking services, as they felt their ailment wasn’t serious enough, and more women than men report not using healthcare due to the same reason — the gender gap has widened over the decade.

More Indian men are likely to be admitted to hospital during the last moments of life than women — 62.5 per cent to 37.5 per cent, as IndiaSpend reported. For every 1,000 men whose death is certified by medical professionals, the corresponding figure for women is 600.

The number of people not using healthcare due to financial reasons reduced from four of every 1,000 in 2004 to 0.7 in 2014, said the Brookings report, possibly a result of rising incomes or use of publicly-funded health-insurance schemes implemented over the last 10 years by the central and state governments.

About 12 percent of the urban and 13 percent of the rural population got health insurance through the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (National Health Insurance Scheme) or similar plans. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google, Facebook face greater scrutiny in Australia. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?