[op-ed snap] Healthy India, happy India

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: The article is written by Vice-President of India. His views on healthcare system in India are important.


News

India’s health indicators

  1. On health indices, there have been some successes but we still face innumerable, complex challenges
  2. Over the years, we have successfully eradicated diseases such as polio and tetanus, done reasonably well in the fight against malaria and in halting the spread of HIV

Current issues in Indian Healthcare System

  1. Today, the country is grappling with the twin problems of communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) due to a variety of causes
  2. With India ranked at an unflattering 154th in a Lancet study on “Healthcare Access and Quality Index” published last year, we need to work hard to make India “Swasth Bharat” in the coming years
  3. Both the public and private sector have a big task on hand as a whole range of issues have to be tackled —
    from the problem of malnutrition to providing an inclusive and affordable healthcare to every citizen

Low doctor-population ratio in India

  1. India has less than one doctor for every 1,000 people, which is below the WHO norm
  2. The doctor-population ratio is estimated to be 0.62:1,000 as per the current population, while the number of hospital beds is estimated to be 0.5 per 1,000 people

The public expenditure on the health sector

  1. The first and foremost priority has to be to increase the public expenditure on the health sector
  2. With the economy projected to improve further in the coming years, public expenditure on the health sector has to be enhanced significantly

Need of providing proper healthcare to the elderly people

  1. Ensuring proper healthcare to the elderly is another major area of concern for the governments and all other stakeholders involved in the health sector
  2. The problems associated with geriatrics such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are on the rise, while depression in both the young and old is becoming a major health issue
  3. Perhaps, it might be a good idea to set up special geriatric clinics in different localities in cities under public-private partnership

Ayushman Bharat scheme

  1.  the recently announced Ayushman Bharat scheme to provide health cover to 10 crore families and
  2. the proposal to set up 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres will go a long way in providing the much-needed affordable healthcare to millions across the country

The way forward

  1. There is a need of every individual to make lifestyle changes
  2. Healthcare should be affordable and accessible to the common man so that a healthy and happy India becomes a reality in the coming years
  3. The private sector must follow ethical practices and supplement the efforts of the government
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.
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