Indian Journal of Health Social Work
Availability of Health Infrastructure and Accessibility to Health Services in the Urban Slums of Kolkata: A Contextual Exploration
Shreya Chatterjee1 & Subhashree Sanyal2
1Research Scholar, Department of Social Work, Visva-Bharati University, Sriniketan 731236, Bolpur, West Bengal 2 Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Visva-Bharati University, Sriniketan 731236, Bolpur, West Bengal.
Correspondence: Shreya Chatterjee, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Health is one of the important pillars for the development of every individual which plays an important role in ensuring a good quality of life as well as longevity. Urban slums in India and across the globe are increasing and are mostly without any basic amenities to life, such as no proper housing conditions, lack of drainage and sanitation facilities, poor educational facilities and lack of safety and security. Therefore, the urban population in these slum and squatter settlements are living without adequate facilities for life. Prevalence of such inappropriate and inadequate parameters of life in these slums highlights poor living conditions with a lack of accessibility to health, education and other components of life. Aim: This paper analyses the health infrastructural availability, accessibility and state of urban health services in the urban slums of Kolkata, India; also concerning child health services. Prevalence of hazardous physical location of the slums with lack of health infrastructural facilities have a greater incidence of diseases among the slum dwellers and children. Materials and Methods: The sample households were selected purposively for the study. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected from the sample households to determine the objectives of the study. The present analysis is based on the primary data collected among two (02) slum zones (4 slums) from Kolkata, India which includes 52 households. Results and Conclusion: Results highlight the lack of government health facilities in the slums of Kolkata, high expenses for medical facilities, problems faced in accessing the medical facilities in government hospitals, and poor availability of maternity benefit schemes with the prevalence of home delivery in the urban slums of Kolkata. Therefore, together these insufficiencies of the basic amenities of health infrastructural facilities indicate the vulnerability of these slum dwellers and children which needs to be addressed to ensure better living with desired health conditions for them.
Keywords: Health, Infrastructural facilities, Accessibility, Slums, Kolkata.