Why Indians trust Akshay Kumar, Baba Ramdev more than doctors on health-related matters
New Delhi, Jan 16: Isn't it strange that Indians would rather listen to the advice given by Bollywood star Akshay Kumar and yoga guru Baba Ramdev than professional doctors when it comes to health-related issues?
It is true that neither Kumar nor Ramdev are trained doctors. Both of them have never claimed that they are professional medical practitioners.
However, the latest survey finds out that Indians, in general, would rather listen to the actor and yoga guru-turned-business tycoon in matters of health than a well-trained doctor. Reason: lack of trust and transparency in the sphere of the healthcare system in the country.
The annual survey by fitness device firm GOQii has found out that over 92 per cent people do not trust healthcare system in India.
The survey further states that hospitals are the most distrusted organisations followed by pharma and insurance companies.
"As per the GOQii India Fit 2018 report, 92.3 per cent of citizens do not trust the healthcare system in India, which includes doctors, hospitals, pharma, insurance companies and diagnostic labs," the survey said.
The survey claims to have used inputs from about 2 lakh GoQii product users in the country.
As per the survey, 74 per cent people said that they do not trust hospitals, followed by pharma and insurance firms (62.8 per cent), medical clinics (52.6 per cent), 50.6 per cent doctors and diagnostic labs (46.1 per cent).
"The key reason for the erosion of trust is largely due to a series of failure in the healthcare system, particularly the negligence by hospitals in the recent past. In addition, lack of transparency also came out as the single biggest impediment to the healthcare system in India," the report said.
Interestingly, the survey found Bollywood actor Kumar as the most trusted celebrity or public figure for health advice, followed closely by Ramdev.
"Indians are no longer silent or docile patients, but instead they are now well-informed consumers keen to participate in the care process and demanding dignity and transparency from the healthcare providers," GoQii Founder and CEO Vishal Gondal said.
People in most of the cities expressed major concern on air-quality.
"The 'Quality of Air' is a major concern among people and rated it the lowest at 3.3. Quality of food got the highest rating followed by water, with a rating of 4.1 and 3.8, respectively. This indicates that most Indians feel the quality of air in their city is substandard," the report said.
People assigned a lowest air-quality rating of 1.8 in Delhi-NCR followed by Bengaluru and Mumbai with a score of 3 and 3.1, respectively.
The survey found more than half of the population is overweight with the highest number of such people in Ahmedabad, followed by Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi NCR and Pune.
In comparison to last year survey, there was a rise in the number of lifestyle diseases among people.
"Diabetes has increased from 7.7 to 7.9 per cent. Also, more Indians have high cholesterol this year, increasing from 9.4 to 10.1 per cent. With age as well people are more prone to lifestyle diseases. 23.8 per cent people below the age of 45 have one or more diseases such as diabetes, cardiac problems, including high cholesterol, blood pressure, thyroid and cancer," the report said.
The average sleeping hours of people came down to 6.54 hours in 2017 compared to 6.72 hours found in the previous survey.
As per the food habit, a survey found Kolkata has 82 per cent non-vegetarians and Ahmedabad least with 44 per cent.
At a time when cases of medical negligence and allegations of hospitals over-charging patients have almost become a norm, Indians want the authorities to intervene to bring transparency in the healthcare system.
"Once upon a time, the medical profession was considered noble. Today, doctors have lost respect and trust because of their greed.
"We all work to earn money, but we have no right to loot anyone as private hospitals are indulging in. The Centre and state governments need to improve the state of government hospitals. Otherwise, things won't change," said a Bengaluru-based retired bureaucrat, who worked in the health sector.