Can Crowdfunding Help Make Healthcare More Accessible In India?

By: Sonali, Diamond

Published On: December 28, 2021

The Universal Health Coverage Day observed on December 12, every year is the annual rallying point around the growing movement of ‘Health for All.’ It marks the anniversary of the United Nations’ historic and unanimous endorsement of universal health coverage in 2012

Universal health coverage means that every individual has access to healthcare facilities, when and where they need them without any financial burden. According to the reports launched by the WHO and the World Bank on that same date this year, “More than half a billion people were pushed or pushed further into extreme poverty due to out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure.” The report also observed that Covid-19 would halt the two decades of global progress that has been made towards universal health coverage. 

Covid-19’s Impact on Healthcare Affordability in India

The pandemic put a lot of strain on the national healthcare system and consequently, had a devastating impact on the livelihood of the overall population. Today, a large proportion of Indian citizens have been pushed into health-induced poverty. The Economic Survey of India report 2020-21 says that the overall out-of-pocket expenses on health in India is one of the highest in the world. Though there has been an increase in the awareness of health insurance products and more people are investing in them gradually over the years - currently, more than 30% of the Indian population is still devoid of any type of health insurance. This also adds to their out-of-pocket expenditure.

[Source: WHO’s global health expenditure database]

Health-Induced Poverty in India

As per the reports by the Public Health Foundation of India, around 55 million Indians are pushed into poverty in a single year. 

“If you’re looking at what pushes people into debt or poverty, the top two sources often are out-of-pocket health expenditure and catastrophic costs of treatment.” 

-K Srinath Reddy, the president of the Public Health Foundation of India. 

According to an article in The Tribune, dated 26 November 2019, the former President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, while drawing attention to the healthcare emergency in India, stated that “healthcare debts plunge four to six crore Indians into poverty every year.” One of the major causes for this is the loss of a source of income owing to the sickness and/or death of the breadwinner in the family.

However, efforts in achieving universal health cover under ‘Health for All’ and various schemes like Ayushman Bharat and National Digital Health mission have been speeding up and can pave the way for making healthcare affordable and accessible for all. Also, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the ‘eSanjeevani’ app, an integrated web-based telemedicine solution that aims at making healthcare services fair by bridging the gap between urban and rural India. 

Can Crowdfunding Make Healthcare More Accessible and Affordable?

Another way, as part of the society we live in, could be to do our bit as citizens and help fellow human beings and communities with the resources that we have at hand. The process of people coming together virtually, to give a little each in order to meet a bigger goal is called crowdfunding. So, when, for example, people partake in crowdfunding to help someone pay off costly medical or hospital bills, then it can be specified as medical crowdfunding. 

There are so many people around us waiting for medical treatment and surgeries but are not able to afford them. At the same time, there are even more socially driven people who are ready to extend their helping hand. This is where crowdfunding acts as the bridge between the ones in need and the ones ready and willing to help meet those needs.

Impact of Crowdfunding

Medical Crowdfunding as a socio-digital practice has proven to be an effective medium for many to raise and gather funds for medical treatments, irrespective of one’s financial background. As per Globocan 2020, every year around 20,000 new cases of blood cancer in children are diagnosed in India and account for almost 30% of all cancers. So many children lose their lives due to the inability of their parents to afford timely treatment even for curable diseases. But, you have the power to change this with a crowdfunding website like ImpactGuru! 

How Does Monthly Giving Work?

In recent times, crowdfunding has assisted many people in need and helped to save a lot of lives. Your regular help can make you part of an inspired community that is dedicated to helping children in need of urgent medical treatments. Your contribution can help in urgent fundraisers to save the lives of children battling critical illness. At the tender age of playing with toys, there are many precious lives that are bound to the hospital beds. Don’t you think these children deserve a chance at a healthy life? You have the power to give them this chance through monthly giving and help them to live full and happy lives!

As Universal Health Coverage Day(UHC) is the annual rallying point for advocates to raise their voices and share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for healthcare, ImpactGuru through its endeavours tries to contribute to the mission of UHC that ensures all people, everywhere, can get the quality health services they need without financial hardships. With the help of various hearty and kind donors from across the globe, lakhs of lives were saved successfully and with your help, we can support and save many, many more. 

To know more about how exactly crowdfunding works and how you can do your bit, Click here.