HealthCare Crisis – Preventive Health Care Needed

HealthCare Crisis in India - Preventive HealthCare Needed

Issue :-

The governments don’t have any roadmap for improving the health status of the people.

Government Hospitals Problems :-

  • Government hospitals suffer from problems of overcrowding, insanitation and shortage of staff and equipments. People are losing faith in these hospitals.
  • The reputation of government hospitals in providing quality treatment has touched a new low because the health ministries of both states and the Centre don’t publish reports of epidemiological surveys to awaken the public about the extent of problems.
  • There is a brain drain of competent government doctors who take Voluntary Retirement Scheme and join private hospitals.

Private Hospitals :-

  • Private hospitals, on the other hand, are notoriously robbing people by conducting unnecessary tests and surgical interventions besides overcharging for medicines and consumables.

Everybody is worried about his medical safety or security. The basic cause of increasing morbidity (patients per 1,000 of population) is neglect of preventive healthcare.

Govt National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) :-

The government’s new policy of providing insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family will provide the much-needed relief to 40 per cent of the population but

  • It will be a boon for private hospitals as insured patients will rush to private hospitals for better healthcare.

What was needed is to cap the treatment cost in private hospitals as also restore the trust of the people in government hospitals by Govt.

The six main causes of collapsing healthcare system and required remedial measures are given below:

 

Causes for Collapsing Health Care System                 Remedial Measures
  • There is no provision of imparting health education at school, college and university levels. Even educated people know little about the basics of communicable and non-communicable diseases. For example, how many people know that TB is an air-borne disease and a healthy person contracts it once a TB patient coughs in close proximity?

 

  • This unawareness about health issues needs to be addressed by launching an aggressive programme of health education and awareness about the causes and cures of common diseases. This single step will reduce the incidence of various diseases significantly.
Diseases like cholera and typhoid are nonexistent in developed countries but In India, the situation is awful on this score because

  • Water supply of doubtful quality/portability only is available and most urban households use RO plants for the purpose.
  • Vegetables are being grown using sewage under the very nose of district administration.

There are hardly 10 cities in India with 100 per cent sewerage and solid waste management systems.

  • All infectious diseases are preventable if adequate measures are taken. A town becomes disease-free (infectious ones) if every home has access to potable water and sanitary latrines, besides safe disposal of sewage flow and solid wastes.
  • Primary Health Centres (PHCs) have been provided in selected villages only. A district Civil Hospital covers a large population of 15 lakh persons.
  • More dispensaries with qualified doctors need to be set up to cover every village or every ward, like the Mohalla Clinics in Delhi, to provide Primary Health Care to every household.
  • Debilitating diseases like diabetes have spread widely because of lack of physical activity, obesity, lifestyles and food habits and sedentary nature of work amongst a large section of the population. Working in closed AC buildings is also a health hazard due to reduction in oxygen levels as a result of continuous circulation of exhaled air.
  • An aggressive campaign is needed to motivate people to do physical exercises because the human body requires some physical exertion to boost its healing power (generation of macrophase cells) to keep it trim and fit.
  • The rising air pollution in cities has become another hazard. Air Quality Index in Delhi is close to 350 on normal days, indicating a very poor quality of air. While 38 per cent air pollution is due to generation of dust, 62 per cent is due to vehicular exhausts.
  • Dust pollution can be controlled by paving or grassing the raw surfaces along the road edges.
  • Vehicular pollution can be reduced by restricting the movement of personal vehicles (odd-even formula), plying of more electric vehicles, strengthening mass transport system and constructing elevated tracks.

These will take time.

  • Large-scale use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and weedicides contaminates and stymies the quality of fruits, vegetables and food grains.
  • The incidence of a large number of diseases is attributed to the entry of these toxic chemicals in our food chain.
  • A mass movement is needed to promote organic farming.

Kerala is only one state that has developed a sustainable health model and has been exceeding the targets of the health indicators set by World Health Organization (WHO) since 1980. Its basic feature is that the government spends more money on preventive healthcare than clinical or curative one.

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