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Timeline of healthcare in India

This is a timeline of healthcare in India. Major events such as crises, policies and organizations are included.

Big pictureEdit

Year/period Key development
Prehistory The knowledge of the medicinal value of plants and other substances and their uses goes back to the time of the earliest settlers. Medical knowledge evolves through trial and error and exchange of know-how between diverse communities and regions.[1]
Traditional medicine period Ayurveda, the science of life, has been the traditional system of healthcare in India for more than 5000 years. This medical system is well-established around 2500 to 600 BC, when it evolves into 2 schools: the School of Physicians and the School of Surgeons.[2]
1600–1947 British colonial period. East India Company is established. Many British physicians assume broader scholarly roles and European medicine comes to be looked upon as the dominant medical knowledge system. British official colonial policy marginalizes indigenous medicine to secondary status. Notwithstanding European medicine becomes the official health care system, Ayurvedic colleges are still created. Ayurveda education becomes integrated with western concepts of healthcare.[1]
1947 onward Post-independence period. The government of India makes efforts to recognize Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani as being on par with scientific medicine. Nevertheless, the general trend increasingly complies with the norms of modern medicine. In traditional medical schools the vocabulary and diagnostic tools of modern medicine replace traditional terms and techniques, and students increasingly become unfamiliar with classical references and methodologies.[1]
1980 onward Numerous government subsidies allow the introduction of private health providers. Also opening up of the market in the 90s further gives impetus to the development of the private health sector in India.[3] Immunization programs increase.
21st century Today, the health status of India is still on a developing level. The private sector is the dominant healthcare provider. Private chains of healthcare providers are innovating very rapidly, offering high quality treatment at very low cost. As India incorporates world class technology and training, and low cost of service, a trend of medical tourism develops and strengthens in the 2010s.[4][5]

Full timelineEdit

Evolution of life expectancy in India for period between 1881 and 2005.[6]
Year/period Type of event Event Location
7000 BCE Origin Medical interventions such as dentistry and trepanation are practiced as early as this time.[1] Indian subcontinent
5000 BCE Development Origin of Ayurveda medicine, when it originates as an oral tradition.[7][8]
2500–1700 BCE Development Origin of Siddha medicine.[9] Tamilakam
600 BCE Development Ayurveda is branched into internal medicine; pediatrics; psychiatry; surgery; eye, ear, nose, and throat; toxicology; geriatrics; and eugenics/aphrodisiacs.
8th century CE Development Texts called Nighantus dealing exclusively with the materia medica of Ayurveda are composed. Many of these works help to enlarge the repertoire of medicinal substances by incorporating knowledge of local practitioners and from foreign sources. A few well-known Nighantus are Madanapala Nighantu, Bhavaprakasha Nighantu, Dhanvantari Nighantu and Sodhala Nighantu.[1]
1200s Development Unani medicine system is introduced in India via Rome. It integrates with other systems such as Ayurveda and Yoga.[10]
1600s Development Introduction of western medicine in India. First medical officers arrive along with the British East India Company's first fleet as ship's surgeons.[11]
1664 Organization (hospital) The Madras General Hospital is the first hospital opened in India.[11][12] Chennai
1707 Organization (hospital) The Presidency General Hospital is formed.[11][13] Calcutta
1802 Organization (government body) A Superintendent General of Vaccination in India is appointed after the discovery of the smallpox vaccine.[11]
1817 Crisis First cholera pandemic originates in the Ganges River Delta.[14]
1823 Organization (medical school) The Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER) is founded. It's the oldest to teach European medicine in Asia. Today considered an Institute of National Importance.[15][16] Pondicherry
1829 Crisis Second cholera pandemic originates in the Ganges River Delta.[14]
1835 Organization (medical school) The Calcutta Medical College is established.[11] Calcutta
1852 Crisis Third cholera pandemic originates in the Ganges River Delta.[14]
1854 Development The government of India agrees to supply medicines and instruments to the growing network of minor hospitals and dispensaries. Government Store Depots are established in cities.[11] Calcutta, Madras, Bombay, Mian Mir, and Rangoon
1858 Organization (asylum) Lunate asylums are established for insane persons.[11]
1860 Organization (medical school) The Lahore Medical School is established.[11][17] Lahore (now in Pakistan)
1863 Crisis Fourth cholera pandemic originates in the Ganges River Delta.[14]
1869 Development A Public Health Commissioner and a Statistical Officer are appointed to the Government of India.[11]
1870 Organization (Mental Hospital) India's first Western model mental hospital is opened in Oolanpara, Trivandrum.[11] Trivandrum
1870 Organization (government body) A central sanitary department is formed.[11]
1873 Policy The Birth and Death Registration Act is passed.[11]
1880 Policy An act is passed for the compulsory vaccination of children in municipalities and cantonments. Smallpox is the main target during this period, although vaccinations are also carried out for plague and other diseases.[11]
1881 Crisis Fifth cholera pandemic originates in India.[14] Bengal
1896 Organization (government body) The Plague Commission is constituted.[11]
1896 Crisis The Bombay plague epidemic breaks out. It spreads across all of India and kills at least 2 million people.[11]
1897 Policy The Epidemic Diseases Act is passed. The Governor General of India confers special powers upon local authorities to implement the necessary measures for control of epidemics.[11]
1899 Crisis Sixth cholera pandemic originates in India.[14]
1900 Organization (Hospital) The British Imperial Government opened the Trivandrum General Hospital in the princely state of Travancore.[11] Trivandrum
1912 Organization (government body) The Government of India sanctions the appointment of Deputy Sanitary Commissioners and Health Officers with the local bodies and releases funds for sanitation.[11]
1912 Policy The Indian Lunacy Act is passed.[18]
1921 Organization (hospital) Sir Ganga Ram Hospital is founded.[19][20] Lahore
1925 Organization which helped (medical institution) The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences is established. Today it is listed as an Institute of National Importance.[21][22][23] Bangalore
1926 Organization (hospital) King Edward Memorial Hospital and Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College is founded.[20][24] Mumbai
1930 Organization (health training) The All-India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health is established.[11] Calcutta
1933 Policy The Medical Council of India is formed, with the purpose of establishing uniform and high standards of medical education in India.[18]
1933 Organization (hospital chain, medical school chain) Excelsior Clinic is established in the town of Thodupuzha, which later became known as Chazhikattu Hospital, with the purpose of giving healthcare to the area, which until then had none.[25] Thodupuzha
1938 Policy The Bombay Medical Practitioner's Act is passed. With it comes the first legal recognition and registration for the Indian systems of medicine.[18]
1939 Organization (health training) The first Rural Health Training Center is established near Calcutta.[11] Singur
1939 Organization The Tuberculosis Foundation of India is established.[11]
1940 Policy The Drugs Act is passed and drugs are made under the control of the government for the first time.[11]
1946 Organization (medical school) Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital is established.[26] Bihar
1948 Program launch (healthcare coverage) The Employees' State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) is launched with the objective of achieving universal health coverage. Targeted at employees with income less than Rs 15000/month and dependents.[27]
1950 Policy The Insurance Amendment Act leads to the Government of India deciding to nationalize the insurance business.[27]
1951 Organization (medical school) The Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram is established in Trivandrum, Kerala.[18] Trivandrum
1953 Organization (hospital chain, medical school chain) Manipal Hospitals is founded as a part of the Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG).[25] Bangalore
1953 Policy The Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act is passed.[18] Delhi
1954 Program launch (healthcare coverage) The Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) is launched with the objective of achieving universal health coverage in government employees and families.[27]
1956 Organization (medical college chain) The All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are founded with a first college in New Delhi. These institutes are declared institute of national importance by the Act of Parliament.[21] New Delhi
1962 Organization (medical and research institution) The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research is established. Today it is listed as an institute of national importance.[21][28] Chandigarh
1964 Organization (government body) A government body for setting norms for the manufacture and the control of the quality of traditional medicinal preparations is formed.[1]
1970 Program launch (nutrition) The Government of India launches the Balwadi Nutrition Programme to provide food supplements at Balwadis to children of the age group 3–6 years in rural areas.[29][30]
1970 Organization (medical school) Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College and Hospital is founded.[31][32] Gaya
1970 Policy The government of India passes the Indian Medical Central Council Act to standardize Ayurvedic teaching institutions, their curriculum and their diplomas.[1]
1971 Organization (medical school) Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital is founded.[33][34] Bhagalpur
1975 Program launch (nutrition, child health) The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme is launched with the purpose of improving nutrition and health status in children.[27]
1976 Organization (hospital chain) Aravind Eye Hospitals chain is opened by Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy as a network of eye hospitals. Having a major impact in eradicating cataract related blindness in India, today the model of Aravind Eye Care hospitals is highly recognized and has won multiple awards.[35][36] Tamil Nadu, Madurai, Theni, Tirunelveli, Coimbatore, Pondicherry, Dindigul, Tirupur, Salem, Tuticorin, Udumalpet
1978 Organization (hospital) Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre is established.[20][37] Mumbai
1981 Organization (Hospital) The Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram is established in Trivandrum, Kerala.[18] Trivandrum
1983 Policy The National Health Policy is endorsed by the Parliament of India.[38]
1983 Organization (hospital chain) Apollo Hospitals opens its first facility. It is the first hospital to be registered as a publicly listed company in India.[25] Chennai
1985 Program launch (immunization) The government of India launches the Universal Immunization Programme, consisting in massive vaccination for nine diseases: tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, Hepatitis B, Diarrhoea, Japanese Encephalitis and Pneumonia.[39][40]
1990 Organization (hospital) Pharmaceutical company Wockhardt opens its first medical center.[25] Kolkata
1992 Organization (hospital) Fortis Malar Hospital is established. It is considered among the best in the country.[41][42] Chennai
1994 Crisis 1994 plague. Bubonic and pneumonic plague break out.[43] South-central and southwestern India
1994 Crisis Pneumonic plague epidemic in Surat breaks out.[44] Gujarat
1995 Organization (government body) The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) is created as a governmental body in India purposed with developing education and research in ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha, homeopathy, and other alternative medicine systems.[1]
1995 Program launch (immunization) Pulse Polio program is launched by the government to eradicate poliomyelitis by vaccinating all children under the age of five years.[45]
1996 Organization (hospital chain) Fortis Healthcare is founded.[25] Delhi
1997 Program launch (immunization) The Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) is launched by the government with aims at achieving universal access to tuberculosis control services.[46]
2000 Policy (healthcare coverage) The Insurance Regulatory and Development Act (IRDA) opens up the market with the invitation for registration applications.[27]
2000 Organization The Krishna Heart Institute is founded as a high-end medical facility, specializing in heart diseases.[47][48] Ahmedabad, India
2000 Report The World Health Organization's global healthcare profile ranks India’s healthcare system 112th out of 190 countries.[27]
2000 Organization (medical school) The Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) is established. Listed as an Institute of National Importance[21] Thiruvananthapuram
2000 Organization (hospital chain) Narayana Health system is opened as a multi-specialty hospital chain by Dr. Devi Shetty under the guidance of the Asian Heart Foundation. Today it has 31 hospitals in 19 locations. It is one of India's largest and considered the world's most economical[49] healthcare providers with a reputation for high quality.[50][51] Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Davangere, Dharwad, Bellary, Berhampore, Jaipur, Jamshedpur, Katra, Kolar, Kolkata, Mahuva, Mysore, Palanpur, Raipur, Shimoga, Durgapur, Guwahati
2002–2005 Program launch (lifestyle diseases) The Tobacco cessation clinic program (later renamed as Tobacco Cessation Centers) is launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health of India. Until 2005, 18 facilities are created. The services offered at the clinics include individual intervention in the form of behavioral counseling, medication, and nicotine replacement therapy[52] Anand, Bhopal, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cuttack, Delhi, Goa, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Patna, Mizoram, Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Trivandrum
2004 Program launch (healthcare coverage) The Deen Dayal Antyoday Upchar Yojna scheme is launched by the government of Madhya Pradesh to provide free health care to poor families.[53] Madhya Pradesh
2005 Program launch (healthcare coverage) The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) is launched by the government of India.[54]
2005 Program launch (healthcare coverage) Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHAs) is launched as a program of community health workers instituted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.[55]
2005 Program launch (child mortality) The Janani Suraksha Yojana scheme is launched by the Government of India with aims at decreasing the neonatal and maternal deaths happening in the country by promoting institutional delivery of babies.[56]
2007 Program launch (healthcare coverage) The Government of Andhra Pradesh launches the Aarogyasri program in order to provide no cost coverage of hospitalization for all those below the poverty line.[57] Andhra Pradesh
2008 Organization (hospital and research center) Ford Hospital and Research Centre is founded.[citation needed] Patna
2008 Organization (hospital) Hospital chain Columbia Asia establishes a referral hospital. It is considered among the best hospitals in India.[41] Bangalore
2009 Program launch (healthcare coverage) The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) scheme is launched with the objective of providing affordable healthcare to the poor.[27]
2010 Organization (hospital) Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital is founded.[20][58] Mumbai
2011 Program launch (healthcare coverage) The National Programme for the Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE) scheme is launched with the objective of providing the elderly an easy access to primary healthcare.[27]
2012 Organization (medical college chain) All India Institute of Medical Sciences expand to six locations.[59] Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh
2014 Crisis Odisha jaundice outbreak. Mainly Hepatitis E and also Hepatitis A kill at least 36 people.[60] Odisha, Bolangir district, Cuttack, Khurda and Jajpur
2014 Program launch (immunization) Mission Indradhanush is launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with the purpose of immunizing all children against seven vaccine preventable diseases, namely diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B by 2020.[61]
2014 Program launch (immunization) TB-Mission 2020 is launched by the Government of India with the purpose of eliminating tuberculosis from the country in 2020.[62]
2017 Rural Health Care In April 2017, IFFCO bought 26% stake in Gramin Health Care to offer affordable and easily accessible healthcare services for farmers at tier III and tier IV rural hubs by setting up primary care centres at its IFFCO Bazar outlets. [63]

See alsoEdit


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