Elderly Care in India and China: Need for Comprehensive Policy and Planning

Madhurima Nundy, PhD, Associate Fellow, ICS and Prof. Rama V. Baru, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Adjunct Fellow, ICS

Demographic transition and population ageing are one of most discussed phenomena of the present times. China and India are at different stages of the demographic transition. In India about 8.6 per cent of the population are elderly while in China it is 16.1 per cent. Given the large population size, in terms of numbers, the elderly population is large.

Change in Family Structure and State Response

While the demographic transition is determined by the economic and social changes in any society, the transition itself has profound social, economic, psychological and ideational consequences for the individual, family and society. In India and China, the changing family structure, living arrangements and support services have created challenges for dealing with the changing needs of the elderly population. Continue reading “Elderly Care in India and China: Need for Comprehensive Policy and Planning”

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Family physicians to play a bigger role in medical care in China

Madhurima Nundy, Associate Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

One of the major programme priorities of China’s health care reforms that was announced in 2009 was strengthening of primary level services and the development of general practice in order to improve accessibility. China recently announced that it plans to expand the family physician services to all its citizens by 2020. The family physician or the general physician (GP) as the gatekeeper to the health service system is the hallmark of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK where every citizen is assigned a GP. In India, where medical care is highly privatised and unregulated, the GP is a dying breed and is no longer able to stand up to a system now increasingly dominated by specialists. There is no regulated referral system that ensures rational distribution of services and market forces have put demands for more number of specialists thus creating a top-heavy system.

Continue reading “Family physicians to play a bigger role in medical care in China”

Indian students in professional education abroad: The case of medical education in China

Madhurima Nundy, Associate Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

The commercialisation of medical education in India has led many students to study medicine abroad especially in China. The Indian medical education is in a state of crisis but there is no sense of urgency to address the serious issues of maldistribution of resources, the unregulated growth of the private sector, dearth of faculty, a lack of uniform admission procedures and dated curricula that needs to undergo a review. The commercialisation of medical education has raised concerns over issues of quality, regulation and increasing corruption in selection and recruitment procedures as has been exposed by the Vyapam scandal leading to the ‘criminalisation of medical education’.

Continue reading “Indian students in professional education abroad: The case of medical education in China”

Health Tourism in India and China

Rama Baru, Professor, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, JNU and Adjunct Fellow, ICS and Madhurima Nundy, Associate Fellow, ICS.

Health tourism includes travelling for medical care, wellness and relaxation. According to UNESCAP (2007) medical travel refers to international phenomenon of individuals travelling, often great distances, to access health services that are otherwise unavailable due to high costs or limited supply. The reasons for the rise of health tourism is located in the rising cost of medical care in developing countries and the overall crisis that has affected health service systems in developed and developing countries.  Incomplete insurance coverage, long waiting lists for interventions, poor care services after hospitalization are all important reasons for rise of this industry. Another important segment for medical travel is dental, optical and cosmetic surgery. Five distinct industries come together to form the complex for health tourism. These include tourism, hospitality, airlines, insurance, medical care and wellness services.

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Pharmaceutical sector in India and China: Some aspects for consideration

Madhurima Nundy, Associate Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

The pharmaceutical sectors in India and China have evolved from their nascent phases in the 1970s to become mature industries over the last three decades that compete effectively at the global level. They are also attractive investment destinations for many multi-nationals.

Continue reading “Pharmaceutical sector in India and China: Some aspects for consideration”