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Geriatric health care in rural India: HR issues and public policy constraints

Srirang Kumar Jha (Department of Management, Apeejay School of Management, New Delhi, India)
Shweta Jha (Department of Management, Apeejay School of Management, New Delhi, India)
Amiya Kumar Mohapatra (Department of Management, Jaipuria Institute of Management – Indore Campus, Indore, India)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 8 May 2024

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the need for holistic geriatric health care in rural India. Many older people in Indian villages suffer from chronic ailments without any relief or intervention because of inaccessible and unaffordable health-care services. This paper explores how holistic health care can be assured for older people in Indian villages.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on reflections of the authors who have had experiences as caregivers to older persons within their respective families rooted in the Indian villages. Besides, they interacted with 30 older persons (18 males and 12 females in the age group of 60–80 years) living in the villages in three states of India, namely, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to develop a comprehensive viewpoint on the need of geriatric health care in rural India. Relevant reports, newspaper articles and research papers were also reviewed while developing viewpoints on such an important topic.

Findings

Geriatric health-care facilities in rural India are abysmal. The older people in the villages cannot leverage health-care facilities that are generally inaccessible, inadequate and unaffordable. Even the government support for medical treatment is minuscule. Furthermore, there is lack of trained health-care professionals at all levels, namely, doctors, nurses and paramedic personnel. Training opportunities in geriatrics are also negligible. The scenario vis-à-vis geriatric health care in rural India can be upturned by increasing public spending on health-care infrastructure, increasing numbers of health-care professionals and expanding training programmes in geriatrics.

Originality/value

This paper is based on the critical reflections of the authors as well as their informal interactions with some of the older people in the Indian villages.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Conflict of interests: The authors declare no conflicts of interests.

Citation

Jha, S.K., Jha, S. and Mohapatra, A.K. (2024), "Geriatric health care in rural India: HR issues and public policy constraints", Working with Older People, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-10-2023-0044

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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