March 20 2019

Health in India: Our Solution to a Public System in Crisis

The Indian government allocates only 1.2% of its GDP to health (compared to 11.8% in France, for example). This extremely low budget seriously impacts the public hospital system, where difficult working conditions and low wages barely manage to attract 5% of the doctors needed.

In addition, only 35.7% of hospitals are located in rural areas – where 75% of the population lives – thereby restricting access to health services. This lack of proper and equal care disproportionately affects the poorest people.

In the state of Bihar, where our organization mainly operates, there is only one doctor for 17,685 people. That’s 20 times the average of doctors in France, who take care of 864 patients!

How we help care for those most in need

To help improve access to health care for the most vulnerable rural populations, Karuna-Shechen started a program of mobile clinics to reach isolated villages in Bihar and Jharkhand. Every day of the year, the medical teams of each mobile clinic treat between 60 and 100 patients.

In Bodhgaya, the Shechen clinic is also open 365 days a year. There, we provide general and alternative (acupuncture and plant-based) medical care, a pharmacy, a test laboratory. Additionally, because prevention and education are always at the heart of our actions, we also have a center for tuberculosis awareness and screening, a disease that wreaks havoc in the region.

In 2018, we provided medical attention to 91,519 patients in India. However, the dire state of healthcare today pushes us to further expand our actions and offer our services. To achieve this goal, we started building a clinic in Jharkhand last year thanks to your generous donations.


This new 9,700 square foot building will not only provide access to healthcare for local communities but also house a professional training center and our administrative offices. We have already built the first floor and begun the second! Completion is scheduled for the end of 2019.

Let’s act together for a better and more equal healthcare system in India. THANK YOU!