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1991 data. Information is reproduced from the Guide to Health Services of the World, published by the International Hospital Federation, ISBN 0 900590 26 2. Price 16.00.

National Population
866.5 m

Birth Rate (per 1000 Population)

Life Expectancy at Birth (Years)
61 (Male)
59.1 (Female)

Death Rate (per 1000 population)

Infant Mortality (per 1000 live births)

Health Expenditures
Total expenditure on health services in US$ - 17,740 m
Amount spent per capita - 21

Sources of Health Expenditure
No figures available

Description of health service

Structure and Organisation

Health is considered as a partnership effort for delivery to the community because the government will never have the means to cover the total community.

Health services are provided by hospitals - both government and non-government - corporate health camps, domiciliary bases, home care programmes and health centres.

The Community Health Volunteer acts as a referral link between the community and the official health agency at the subcentres. The most peripheral unit for health care is the subcentre.

There is one subcentre for 5000 population and one primary health centre for 30,000 people. Primary health centres form a part of the overall community development programme of the country.

At the primary health centre, the medical officer is the leader of the health team. There is one Community Health Centre for 120,000 population with 30 beds.

The medical colleges monitor and evaluate healthcare services and evolve healthcare models relevant to the socio-cultural context and appropriate approaches to health management to suit local conditions.

A very significant role of a medical college in India is the assumption of responsibility of health care in a special region.

As each medical college in India is allocated three primary health centres, the health care of these areas becomes the responsibility of the medical college. These areas are used as a training ground for doctors.

Health care is provided through the existing network of health facilities strengthened with specialist services through visiting faculty members.

Most of the administrators in the hospitals are professional physicians who spend 60- 70% of their time in routine administrative activities.


Health care in India is provided by the government free of charge. Practitioners of various systems of medicine provide medical care to the public.

There are stringent financial and managerial controls exercised on the hospital administrative staff either by the Department of Health Services in the case of public hospitals, or management trustees in the case of private hospitals.

Most of the hospitals report problems of identifying motivated personnel and motivating employees to provide adequate services.

Access and Quality Assurance

Evaluation of health services and particularly of institutional medical care facilities has of late been given considerable importance. Quality assurance is conducted through medical audit. The Indian Hospital Association is, however, conducting a quality-assurance programme on a long-term basis.

Hospital Statistics
No. of Hospitals - 15,950
No. of Beds Available - 1,002,422
Total Staff (Full-Time Equivalents) - 5,610,203


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