Preventing Slavery through Healthcare
Posted by Petra Stanton
Posted on April 5, 2017
In India the most common reason that people end up in slavery is because they go into debt to pay for a health crisis in the family. The government healthcare hardly exists in rural areas so when a crisis hits people are forced to turn to the private sector where they have to pay up front. Since most poor villagers live on subsistence wages they don’t have the necessary money, so they go to the local landlord or factory owner and trade future work for the loan. With interest as high as 50% they end up in debt bondage for life.
Some nonprofit hospitals are trying to address this by providing low cost care in the underserved areas. We visited one such hospital where the heroic doctors cared for a continuing stream of acute patients. The needs here are enormous, but this hospital is making a difference.