[Answered] Critically analyze the state of health infrastructure in India’s urban areas. What are the multi-scalar health risks that urban inhabitants face, and what policy measures can be taken to mitigate them?

Introduction: Give brief context to the question

Body: Highlight the state of health infrastructure and its challenges and measures to overcome them.

Conclusion: Way forward

India’s urban population is estimated to reach 675 million in 2035, the second highest in the world raising a complex issue regarding the state of health infrastructure in urban areas.

Strength of health infrastructure in urban areas

  • Access to Specialised Care: In India, urban regions typically offer easier access to multispecialty hospitals, diagnostic centres, and specialist physicians, among other specialized healthcare facilities.
  • Skilled Workforce: The concentration of medical professionals in urban regions, such as physicians, nurses, and technicians, results in higher-quality healthcare services.
  • Technological Advancements: Modern medical equipment and technologies are frequently available in urban healthcare institutions, enhancing the quality of diagnosis and therapy.

Weakness of health infrastructure:

  • Overcrowding: A lot of metropolitan healthcare institutions are over capacity, which results in lower-quality care and longer wait times.
  • Inequity: Rich and impoverished urban populations differ significantly in the standard and availability of healthcare treatments. Basic healthcare facilities are typically absent from impoverished neighbourhoods and slums.
  • Infrastructure Gaps: There are several issues with urban regions’ infrastructure, such as old buildings, a lack of hospital beds, and generally bad sanitation.
  • Air pollution: Many urban areas have poor air quality, which increases the risk of respiratory infections and other health issues.

Multi-scalar health risks

  • Infectious Diseases: Because of their dense population, poor sanitation, and restricted access to clean water, urban areas are particularly vulnerable to the rapid spread of infectious diseases.
  • Non-Communicable Diseases: Due to dietary changes and sedentary lifestyles, the prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease is higher in urban regions.
  • Mental Health Problems: Stress from the workplace, social isolation, and the fast-paced metropolitan lifestyle can all lead to a rise in mental health problems.
  • Air Pollution: Living in an urban environment exposes people to high levels of air pollution, which can cause cardiovascular issues, respiratory illnesses, and shortened life spans.

Policy measures to mitigate risks

  • Air Quality Improvement: To lower air pollution levels, enact stringent air quality laws and encourage the use of cleaner transportation options like electric cars and walking paths, bicycle lanes.
  • Urban design: Create inclusive, sustainable urban design that lowers the risk of infectious diseases by providing access to clean water, green areas, and sanitary facilities.
  • Healthy diet: Policies should encourage intake of fresh fruits and vegetables and limit sugars and salt in beverages lowering risk of diabetes.


A comprehensive strategy that includes legislative changes to enhance healthcare service accessibility, equity, and quality is essential to reducing multi-scalar health hazards. Protecting the health of urban residents will also require tackling environmental issues and encouraging healthy urban life.

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