We are signatory like many countries of “Health for All by 2000 “but we never achieved it, we also signed an initiative of WHO called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which was also not being achieved as required. There have been many committee reports like Bhore Committee (1943), Mudaliar committee and many others but what have we learnt or achieved by these reports? We had launched many missions like National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Urban Health Mission and National Health Mission but we never achieved our goal of Universal health coverage. We kept on shifting our health systems like old wine in a new bottle with no accountability and rampant corruption which also revealed in handling the present pandemic. The present COVID 19 has revealed all the weaknesses of our health systems, the ill planned health system caused a lot of cost in terms of human loss and financials. We need to take care of the bottom of the pyramid- two third of people in India live in poverty: 68.8% of the Indian population lives on less than $2 a day, over 30% even have less than $1.25 per day considered extremely poor. How does this segment of the population take care of basic necessities of life forget about healthcare with such a meager amount? It is incumbent on the government that public hospitals provide qualitative healthcare as good as private hospitals.
Hospitals need to be audited, accredited and follow evidence-based medicine and not allowed to do unnecessary diagnostic tests and treatment to inflate bills. Everyone knows about challenges in the public health system but there isn’t any attention paid by successive govts. for the last 75 years to improve the situation.
We need to build up healthcare infrastructure at breakneck speed since it deals with human life, death and most importantly the health of the nation to secure a population bereft of diseases.
The present government is doing something but it is too little and too late. We need to build up healthcare infrastructure at breakneck speed since it deals with human life, death and most importantly the health of the nation to secure a population bereft of diseases. We have enough expertise and repository of wisdom to make our health system versatile and best in the region we can create with the intervention of political forces. Health care is a troubled industry all over the world as Sir Nigel Crisp states, “ The challenges for both rich and poor countries are similar; how to shift focus from cure to prevention; how to integrate various technologies and care pathways; how to maximise the gains from science and technology; how to fund health systems that can provide equitable access to healthcare for whole population”
In India, there are millions of people with poor or no health services at all. In the past, these people succumbed to their fate or insurgencies.
In India, there are millions of people with poor or no health services at all. In the past, these people succumbed to their fate or insurgencies. Now mass media or mobile phones provide alternate solutions. Entrepreneurs and NGOs suggest what can be done with what is available. Even the government has realized that the traditional path through full blown medical schools and highly educated doctors at super specialty hospitals will not solve India’s health problem any time soon. There is a need to strengthen primary health care, public participation and awareness is required. COVID 19 has taught us many lessons to improve healthcare systems, telehealth and teleconsultations have found its roots which was not happening for many years. It has happened due to compulsions to adopt telemedicine by healthcare providers and patients. We need to analyse the best practices in India and abroad by a group of experts with inputs from healthcare providers and receivers to produce workable documents in a time bound manner for implementation, however there is a need to monitor vigorously any health care delivery system to make it more responsive and robust.