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Healthcare



How to extend modern healthcare to the masses, particularly in the rural
areas, is a subject that require extensive discussion. That the existing
system has failed needs no elaboration. The basic govt infrastructure of
Primary Health Centres and rural hospitals have failed to either reach
the people, or have such poor facilities that even if a patient somehow
reaches it, he gets neither treatment or succour. There are various
reasons for these, not the least being reluctance of doctors to work
there. One of the reasons for this reluctance is the knowledge of
doctors that their serving there will not serve any purpose because of
lack of facilities. This amounts to a vicious circle, and real sustained
effort to break this circle after properly analysing its causes (one has
to discard all govt or municipal data to begin with) is the crying need
of the hour.
Some of the points that immdiately come to ones mind are :
1. Increase govt spending
2. Concentrate on primary care
3. Stop trying to develop alternative medicine (ayurved, homeo, unani)
   and divert scarce resource
4. Create a much larger paramedical workforce (nurses, pharmacists)
5. Strict control of drug prices
6. Concentrate more on existing national health programmes and create new ones
7. Concentrate on health education
8. Concentrate on supplying clean drinking water
9. Strengthen vigilance on food adulteration (recent outbreak of dropsy due to
adulterated mustard oil killed scores of people, and the epidemic is still
raging : what the govt does is order a CBI enquiry !)

I am glad that the subject has been brought up. I welcome the
participants' views and concerns to be articulated, so that an
epidemic (of debate) rages.

Shantanu

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