India has made rapid strides in the health sector since independence. However, various eye-opening data from NFHS clearly indicate that access to healthcare still remains a challenge. While the health statistics of rural India continue to be poor, the health status and access to health for the poor in urban slum dwellers has surfaced to be equally deplorable and have less than 4% of government primary healthcare facilities. Urban slum dwellers suffer from adverse health conditions owing to mainly two reasons –first the lack of education and thus lack of awareness; and second the unwillingness to lose a day’s wage in order to reach the nearest medical facility. Healthcare for underprivileged, which is a desperate need, thus remains unaddressed.
The need of the hour is thus a two-pronged approach – first to bring quality healthcare services to doorsteps of the needy and second to promote healthcare awareness and contemporary healthcare seeking behavior among the underprivileged.