A recent report from the World Bank and WHO suggests that as of 2017, at least half of the world’s population is unable to obtain the essential healthcare services it needs. This staggering figure can be attributed to the rising healthcare expenses around the world. In 2012, 80 million Americans skipped a visit to the doctor due to unaffordability, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s Biennial Health Insurance Survey released in April 2013. A huge number of families around the world are pushed into poverty every year as they struggle to afford necessary medical treatments and procedures – in India, the number stands at 63 million people. Two entities can change the dismal healthcare scenario in India: medical crowdfunding and Universal Health Coverage.

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A policy that can stop the figures from rising higher

The lack of financial help stops well over 90% of people who require medical care from going to a doctor. Universal Health Coverage means that every person and community can access a sufficient quality of healthcare services that they need without exposing them to financial difficulty. The objective of UHC is threefold;

  1. Equity in access: anyone and everyone must be able to obtain the medical care they need, regardless of whether they can afford it or not.
  2. Quality of care: the medical care provided through UHC must be effective enough to improve the condition of the patient.
  3. Protection against financial risk: medical care provided must be affordable enough to save the patients and their families from falling into debt or poverty.

Despite the remarkable strides in medical technology and high quality doctors and medical services to the extent where medical tourism is vibrant in India, a shockingly low number of Indians can actually access these facilities themselves. 70% of India’s population does not receive the medical care needed. Until 2017, the subject of UHC was altogether ignored in India. This year’s revision of The National Health Policy that replaced the 2002 version has included room for the concept.

India has been widely criticized for having the lowest public spending on healthcare, amounting to 1.2% of the country’s GDP. Moreover, decisions on medical care provision are made without adequate supporting evaluation of cost-effectiveness. Such clumsy decision-making and lack of funding money are posing as obstacles to the appropriate execution of the policy of universal healthcare coverage, and thus a millions of India’s patients are still unable to afford the medical treatment they need.

Enabling health financing: how medical crowdfunding can empower patients

So why not take things into our own hands? Crowdfunding is the youngest trend that has made its entrance to the Indian funding industry in the recent past and is welcomed with open arms. Since the inception of the first Indian crowdfunding platform, crowdfunding has become increasingly popular, and the statistics are still on the rise today. Hundreds of thousands of crowdfunding campaigns have successfully raised the funds their campaigners needed, supporting dozens of social and medical causes around the country.

Medical crowdfunding is the most booming crowdfunding sector in India, amounting to nearly half of all fundraisers on Indian platforms. On any given day, hundreds of Indian patients are able to access donor networks through crowdfunding to raise the funds they need in weeks and often, even in days. Patients new to the concept are quickly picking up on how crowdfunding works to successfully run campaigns to afford their treatments. If you need to pay for your medical treatment in the absence of universal health coverage, crowdfunding is the way to go. Start a fundraiser today.