India and Pakistan -- Poverty posing serious threats
The world renowned country, India, growing rapidly at more than 9%, member of BRICS block (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa), according to Gold Man Sachs, BRICS will produce about 50% of the total world GDP in 2050. But the main threat to India is Poverty which may hurt the sustainable growth. The Indians living in rural part of the country drives their income from agriculture whereas the urban class mostly dependent on scarce jobs. The poverty is nothing new for India; it has been prevailing since independence. In 2010, 1.35 billion (more than 37%) Indians still lives beneath the poverty line. Data revealed that 22% and 15% of the entire rural and urban population of India facing serious financial and physical problems, respectively. There is a huge gap between different states of India owing to bumpy distribution of resources, as well as health in India. A case in point here, in comparison to Bihar and Orissa, Delhi and Punjab are well settled and have low poverty rate. Where as in former states, the situation is very bad and mostly lives below the poverty line. Further analysis of rural region brings some factors which is making the situation worsen there. It encompass, there dependency on agriculture income which relies on rains and monsoon season. Pathetic irrigation facilities are main impediment in the production and their yield. In some parts, it gives zilch production. Another reasons include, large families, caste system which intensify the already worsen position. The people, who belong to lower caste, are deprived from even basic necessities and opportunities. Several actions have been taken over by the Government of India to reduce poverty, but it results is yet to be seen (Economy Watch, n.d.).
Rising population and migration from rural to urban is the main reason of poverty in urban areas of India. The reason for migration of people to urban cities is the unavailability of basic necessities and jobs.
According to Hindustan times, 2,500 children in India die every day because of malnutrition, mainly caused by Poverty. The petitioner, "Colin Gonsalves" put a petition in the supreme court of India which brought the serious issue of Around 8.8 million children die every year due to malnutrition of the total child deaths of 17.8 la million kh each year. 3,000 children dies each year in India due to malnourishment. In India, each year 2.4 crore children are born out of which 17.8 million die at the age of 5, of which 46% cause by starvation (Chauhan, 2011).
Comparison to UK and U.S., the annual death ratio caused by starvation is more than total five times and one third of newborns, respectively.
The poverty is consistently increasing around the globe. As per the latest report released by the World Bank, the ratio of global poverty is on rise and Pakistan is also engulfed in it. The main reasons behind the increasing poverty around the globe is ongoing stubborn financial and banking crises, sky-high inflation, speculation in commodities, high commodity prices which put millions of people into serious trouble. Out of 107 developing countries, 40% are highly open to the poverty. Pakistan's exposure to this risk is high and is among 43 countries which are facing severe problems in the shape of poverty. Mostly people (2/3) live in rural area of the country where the basic necessities is very scarce. Ditto like India, most of them dependent on agriculture and lack basic needs like safe drinking water, primary health care, education and other social services. The combine budget spends on both the sectors Education and Health accounts mere 2%. This shows how incapable the government is. As per World Bank report titled "Sparing Lives," revealed that 37.4% Pakistani's children under the age of five are malnourished owing to poverty. Since independence, Pakistan is trapped with Poverty problem and its increasing with the passage of time. Pakistan's spending on the social sector has decreased dramatically because of high poverty ratio. In 2008, the number of people living below the poverty line, mounted to 664 million compared to 35.5 million people in 2005. Poverty rate has leaped to 37.5% in the last three-year from 23.9%, Pakistan's Planning Commission reported. As a result, the unemployment data got more worsen.
The life style standard is also getting worsen in the country because of less allocation of budget to social sector. Furthermore, 40% of the urban population lives in Slum areas. The reasons for increasing poverty are poor fiscal management by the government of Pakistan, Double Digit Inflation, price hike and higher commodity prices. In order to avert balance of payment crises, Pakistan rushed to IMF for $11 billion under stand by facility as a result the money spends of debt servicing increased significantly. In Nine-month of current fiscal year (from July-2010-April2011), debt servicing stands at PKR 507 billion against the PKR 474 billion in the same period last year. Showing an increase of healthy 7%, the non-current expenditures are also increased to PKR1, 910 billion against PKR1, 660 billion in the said period. Showing a gigantic growth of 15%, one can easily assessed the gloomy picture resulting from poor government management. Debt to GDP in 9MFY11 stands at 4.5% compared 4.3% in the corresponding period last year, showing an increase of 30 bps (Price, 2007).
Similarities and Differences between government's infrastructures
Health care infrastructure in India is not growing at a pace at which its economy is booming. Mournfully, the physical infrastructure is not sufficient enough to meet today's health care demand. In 2002, out of 15,393 two-thirds belonged to public entity. They provided only basis health facilities. All India Institute of Medical basic care is among few which provide good health facilities but mostly public healthcare does not provide sufficient and efficient services owing to poor infrastructure in the whole country and inadequate staff.
India has only 37,075 health centers for million populations in comparison to its requirement which is 74,150. It is important to mention here, laboratories for drug testing facilities are not present in at least eleven (11) states of India and existing laboratories are inadequate, poorly equipped and understaffed. The funding responsibility for public health lies with the state governments, which finance about 80% of public funding and 15%, is contributed through federal government as per national health programs. However, picture posing gloomy picture as in comparison to private sector spending the public sector is far lagging behind. In 2003, $30.5 was being spent on healthcare of which private companies accounted for 82%. Currently, 60% of all outpatients get services from private firms which is considered high standard in the world and 40% of all in-patient care. It is forecasted that, this will rise to 70% of all hospitals. In India, private sector accounts for 40% of hospital beds.
Source: (Nita, 2007).
In Pakistan, the health care services given to public is divided into two categories 1) Basic Health Care Units (BHUs) and Rural Health Centers (RHCs) consists of basic healthcare structure and is provided through health care infrastructure 2) Ambulance services and inpatient care provided through Tehsil Headquarter Hospitals (THQs), and District Headquarter Hospitals (DHQs) which is further helped by tertiary care from teaching hospitals. Public health is also a means to support 2nd category.
The situation is same like India. It can be gauged from the fact that there are just 7 hospitals comes under the Federal government of Pakistan which are located at Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Health care facilities include:
BHUs & Sub-Health Centers
The numbers are oft misleading. This notion totally fits in both Pakistan and India as the health care facilities are very worse and getting rotten day by day. The facilities, which are located in urban areas, are operative. Ditto like India, the dispensaries and centers operating in rural areas are inadequate, under staffed, inefficient and non-operational and the interesting point here is that more than 75% population of Pakistan resides in rural areas. The Sindh is second largest province of Pakistan in terms of Population but the public Hospitals are very few in comparison to million of people. In Karachi, only two big hospitals are running under the supervision of Government namely Civil and Jinnah Hospital. The then other public hospital is located in Nawabshah. In order to get health care facilities, people have to travel long distance which is quite expensive to visit the doctor for mere disease diagnosis. Due to this problem, people delay their visits because of long distances and cost, which make situation more badly.
The are several similarities between the health's sector of Pakistan and India. In rural areas of both countries, the situation is same as the laboratories & dispensaries are non-operational, inefficient…