Urbanization and Healthcare Services in Punjab: Role of Private Sector
In recent years, the world is becoming increasingly urban with about fifty five percent of its population living in urban areas. This urbanization is a sign of good job opportunities, better education and health facilities, better housing and sanitation, and improved standards of living. However, urbanization brings with it socio-economic and environmental problems which ultimately lead to health hazards. And, the demand for healthcare services rise. But thehttp://220.127.116.11/handle/32116/468 issue is that the public sector healthcare system becomes inadequate to meet the growing healthcare needs in urban areas mainly due to low level of government outlays for the health sector. As a consequence, the private healthcare sector emerges. The extant literature reveals a correlation between urbanization and the growth of the formal private healthcare sector. However, the role played by the private healthcare sector in urban areas is limited to certain sections of the society mainly because of higher medical costs. In this context, this paper examines the role of private sector in the face of growing urbanization in the Punjab state of India. It is concluded that the private sector fails to address the issues of equity in healthcare services. Therefore, public-private partnership is suggested as the alternative option for attaining equity in health.