Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Q.) “Equity in access to doctors, diagnostics and medicines for rural India must be a priority.” Examine.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Not Much
Mains level: Problems and solutions related to Indian Rural Health Sector.
- The article presents a brief picture of Rural Health Sector in India
Some proofs of Bad Health Sector in India
- Recently happened crisis at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur
- The CAG’s report on reproductive and child health under the National Rural Health Mission for the year ended March 2016
- In Uttar Pradesh, the CAG found that about 50% of the primary health centres (PHCs) did not have a doctor, while 13 States had significant levels of vacancies
- Government’s inability to absorb the funds allocated
- Shortage of staff at primary health centres (PHCs)
- Community health centres (CHCs) and district hospitals
- lack of essential medicines
- broken-down equipment and unfilled doctor vacancies
- The Centre has set ambitious health goals for 2020
- And is in the process of deciding the financial outlay for various targets under the National Health Mission
- The goals also includes reduction of the infant mortality rate to 30 per 1,000 live births, from the recent estimate of 40
What we need to achieve health goals?
- This will require sustained investment and monitoring
- We also need access to a health facility with required medical and nursing resources within a 3-km radius, from every individual
- Our disease surveillance system needs to be strengthened in both community and hospital settings, to provide reliable real-time data
- Periodic quality audits must include technical, administrative and social audits
- To make this happen, we need to invest in training and deploying professionals in public health management at different levels of the system
The Way Forward
- Government doctors must be well paid but barred from private practice
- Giving access of doctors, diagnostics and medicines to the rural population has to be a priority for the National Health Mission