Tribal health in India: report of the expert committee on tribal health - executive summary and recommendations

104 million tribal people, accounting for 8.6 percent of India’s population, are heavily marginalised and discriminated against. Not only are tribal communities socio-economically othered by the mainstream Indian populace, they also face a host of structural inequalities, with access to healthcare being one of the biggest. While there seems to be a vague consensus amongst policymakers that tribal communities have poor health and restricted access to healthcare, there are still no comprehensive policies that meet this need, and no reliable data about the state of tribal health. Tribal healthcare in India usually falls within the ambit of rural healthcare. The assumption that the problems and needs of tribal people are the same as that of rural populations is incorrect; the difference in terrain, environment, social systems and culture, all lead to tribal communities having their unique set of healthcare needs. To address this, The Expert Committee on Tribal Health, was created. This led to the examination of how tribal people in India suffer from inequity in health, and how this gap can be bridged.