Download Our DHN Survey Result 2024
scalehealthtech Realize your Healthcare’s Digital Transformation journey with ScaleHealthTech Learn More

The Impact of Improved Health Literacy on India's Healthcare System

Written by : Arun Ramalingam

May 22, 2023

Category Img

What role can improved health literacy play in India's Healthcare? Can health literacy improve patient care?

Healthcare with no understanding

Health literacy is a crucial factor in promoting individual well-being and achieving an effective healthcare system. In the grand context of India, a country with a diverse population, culture, and languages, healthcare is a complex challenge. Improved health literacy can play a significant role in supporting and enhancing the existing health system.

Empowering Individuals for Better Health Outcomes

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), low health literacy levels contribute to poorer health behaviors and limited health knowledge among individuals. In India, where health disparities persist, improved health literacy can help bridge the gap between healthcare providers and patients. Data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) reveals that only 20% of Indian women and 30% of Indian men have adequate health literacy. By understanding health information, individuals can actively participate in their own care, follow treatment plans, adopt preventive measures, and make healthy lifestyle choices. This increased involvement can lead to early detection of diseases, improved adherence to medication, reduced healthcare costs, and most importantly reduced medical and health-based stigmas that affect the nation.

Facilitating Effective Doctor-Patient Communication

Effective communication between doctors and patients is essential for accurate diagnoses, appropriate treatment, and patient satisfaction. Improved health literacy enables patients to understand the medical jargon, ask relevant questions, and express their concerns effectively. Research conducted by the Indian Journal of Medical Research highlights that inadequate health literacy is associated with a higher likelihood of medical errors and misunderstandings during doctor-patient interactions. It also encourages doctors to use clear and concise language, ensuring that patients comprehend their condition, treatment options, and potential risks. This mutual understanding fosters trust and collaboration, which is crucial for successful healthcare delivery and patient compliance.

Promoting Preventive Healthcare

Prevention is a key aspect of a robust healthcare system. With improved health literacy, individuals are more likely to understand the importance of preventive measures, such as vaccinations, regular screenings, and healthy lifestyle choices. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) emphasizes that health literacy programs aimed at promoting preventive healthcare have the potential to reduce the burden of diseases and improve overall health outcomes. By promoting preventive healthcare, India can reduce the burden of chronic diseases and allocate resources more effectively. Health literacy initiatives that focus on educating the population about risk factors, early warning signs, and preventive strategies can have a transformative impact on public health.

A plan to strengthen the system

Overall, improved health literacy can strengthen India's healthcare system by optimizing resource utilization, reducing healthcare costs, and improving overall health outcomes. According to a report by the Public Health Foundation of India, strengthening health literacy can lead to an estimated 5-15% reduction in healthcare costs. By promoting a culture of health literacy, policymakers can invest in initiatives that prioritize health education, accessible health information, and community engagement. Collaboration between healthcare providers, educational institutions, and community organizations is crucial.


Digital Health News ( DHN) is India’s first dedicated digital health news platform launched by Industry recognized HealthTech Leaders. DHN Is Industry’s Leading Source Of HealthTech Business, Insights, Trends And Policy News.

DHN Provides In-Depth Data Analysis And Covers Most Impactful News As They Happen Across Entire Ecosystem Including Emerging Technology Trends And Innovations, Digital Health Startups, Hospitals, Health Insurance, Govt. Agencies & Policies, Pharmaceuticals And Biotech.


© Digital Health News 2024