10 May 2022

As part of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) commitment monitoring, we want to tell the real stories of UHC as experienced by people across the globe. This is Rohan's story of living with diabetes in Delhi, India.

Picture of Rohan Arora

I am Rohan Arora, from Delhi, India. I have been living with diabetes for the last 11 years. I work as a user experience researcher and in my free time, I enjoy photography, painting and also write blogs for the Blue Circle Diabetes Foundation, an NGO that works in diabetes awareness and advocacy across India.

I was misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes, where I was treated with metformin that caused my health to deteriorate and me to end up in the ICU. Afterwards, the doctors discovered that I am actually type-1 diabetic. Misdiagnosis is a common issue for different types of diabetes. There is a need to educate people living with various health conditions, but more importantly to educate the medical professionals on these issues.

With diabetes there are a range of factors that are important for managing the condition, such as diet and education on topics like carbohydrate counting and the importance of mental health and their caregivers through peer support systems. Our health care system needs to also focus on and acknowledge these factors. Doctors seem to almost never have the time to touch upon these things.

Costs and financial risk mean that you do not experience financial difficulties because you need to get health care. Neither the Insurance scheme nor the Government in India cover diabetes monthly supply costs. In order to save money, I have to take risks such as using pen needles and lancets for testing my blood on a glucometer more times than the recommended (single use). I also have to look for the cheapest glucometer and strips, which may compromise the accuracy and quality of my test results and lead to more health complications over time.

“Access to healthcare means that you can get the healthcare that you need, when and where you need it. In a country of 1.3 billion people, healthcare resources are scarce to cater to the large population. Neither the Insurance scheme nor the Government in India covers diabetes monthly supply costs.”

Access to healthcare means that you can get the health care that you need, when and where you need it. In a country of 1.3 billion people, healthcare resources are scarce to cater to the large population. I faced a lot of trouble finding an ICU bed when I needed one in an emergency. Quality of care means that the healthcare you get improves your health and you’re treated well. I did not receive a consistent quality in my health care experience due to inadequate maintenance and quality control.

Note: This story may have been edited for clarity and shortened for fit on the UHC2030 webpage.

Category: Civil society and communities

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