India's Medical Emergency

Photograph for TIME by Adam Ferguson

No waiting room: Child patients and their parents packed into a temporary section in the casualty department of the Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi

It's not hard to find people caught in the gap between India's dreams of greatness and the awful reality of its broken health system. Most of the country lives there. Take Abhishek Khushwa. He would be a normal kid but for the fact that nine years after his birth with a bladder defect, his family is still struggling to get him what should be a simple and relatively cheap operation. Like many sick Indians, Abhishek is both symptom and cause. His lack of proper treatment is reason enough for national shame but his ill health hurts the country in...

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