'Inedequate healthcare, a million Indians die every year'

2 Feb 2009, 1946 hrs IST, IANS

LONDON: One million Indians, mostly women and children, die every year because of inadequate healthcare in a country full of highly-skilled doctors, Britain's Oxford University said Monday.

The prestigious university is to discuss the health and environmental challenges at the fourth Oxford India Business Forum to be held in New Delhi next month, it said.

The Oxford Sad Business School said the forum will discuss 'Health and the Environment: Challenges to India's Growth' on March 25.

The school said over a million people, predominantly women and children, die each year in India due to lack of adequate healthcare. Some 700 million people have no access to specialist care, as 80 percent of the specialists live in urban areas.

"India covers 2.4 percent of the Earth's surface. The country faces the daunting challenge of supporting 16 percent of the world's population. The result is a severely unsustainable degradation of natural resources. Quality health-care remains inaccessible throughout the country, despite the presence of a highly skilled and qualified medical workforce," it said.

"Unless these issues of limited natural resources, the rapidly growing population, basic healthcare and air and water pollution can be addressed, simply pursuing the objective of growing the economy seems short-sighted," it ad