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P A Francis
Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

A recent study on the status of Global Burden of Diseases covering 195 countries focused mainly on developing world during the last 25 years reveals the dismal failure of the governments of these countries in extending basic healthcare to their people. The study published in the medical journal, The lancet, sought to assess the cause and impact of 32 types of diseases such as TB, diabetes, heart diseases, chronic kidney disease, neonatal disorders, etc. based on death rates in these countries. The data brought out by the study shows that India’s healthcare access and quality performance index is below Bangladesh and India continues to be a poor performer in terms of access to healthcare. The study further says that India failed in achieving healthcare goals all these years and it is the biggest under achiever in Asia after Pakistan in healthcare access. This indicates the government spending on public healthcare is far below when compared to many developing nations. India's spending on healthcare is similar to the healthcare spending of countries like Sri Lanka and Thailand but the outcome of spending is not satisfactory. The new National Health Policy of India approved by the Union cabinet last March, proposes to raise country’s public health expenditure to a level of 2.5 per cent of the GDP from the current level of 1 per cent in a time-bound manner. The Union Health Minister hopes to achieve this target of 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025.
Healthcare access to the common man has been a neglected area in India for a long time with health infrastructure in most of the states remaining underdeveloped. People in the northern states are found to be suffering more because of the extremely poor basic healthcare facilities. Poor planning and lack of adequate fund allocation for primary healthcare needs of the people are found to be two main reasons for this state of affairs. As of March 2016, India has only 25,354 functioning primary health centres, the only basic medical facility for the rural population. This is a highly inadequate considering the present size of the rural population. Most of the state governments have failed to increase the number of Primary Health Centres (PHCs) with the growth of the population. Many of these PHCs are also run without a doctor, inadequate para medical staff and medicines. Doctors refuse to serve in PHCs or in any rural medical facilities and they somehow manage to circumvent the obligation of working two years in rural health centres after passing out of medical colleges. As the state governments continue to fail in providing these basic healthcare access in rural areas, quacks and other unqualified medical practitioners flourish to the detriment of health of the poor. Therefore, the main focus of the new National Health Policy should be to increase the number of PHCs, CHCs and Taluk hospitals with the growth in population and run them efficiently with doctors, diagnostic facilities and enough stock of medicines.


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kailas Narale Aug 30, 2017 1:57 PM

Sorry to say India 3 rd exporters of generic medicine but Indian not get essential affordable medicine ,
wide scope to health dept. to reduce cost heath care service
improve quality service at affordable cost to Economical back ward end-user .
cost of health should be affordable ,

Time come to make rules how we can reduce cost heath care service and improve quality it challenge to heath ministry in INDIA
Satyanarayan Garg Jun 21, 2017 9:51 AM
If the rural population is not getting basic health care facility due to unwillingness of doctors working there ,then separate cadar for rural health services may be appointmed ,with higher pay scales then those workings in urban areas.
Besides this one of the main reason for doctors' unwillingness is lack of quality residential facilities at rural hospital places, which should be addressed properly,as doctors during their education becomes habitual of decent living standards.
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