Public Health Care System in India: Current Statistics
More than 100 infants have died in December alone in Kota, Rajasthan at a government hospital. Following a similar trend, it has come to the notice that around 134 infants have also died in Rajkot, Gujarat at a Government Hospital in the month of December.
The common thread among these deaths is that they happened in government-run hospitals. The reason for such deaths have been cited as-
- Lack of proper infrastructure and space.
- Lack of proper instruments, machines, and facilities.
- Malnutrition that kills premature children.
- According to a report, the deaths in Kota happened because of hypothermia- a condition where the body temperature falls below 35 degrees Celsius. As the hospital did not have enough
warmers, these children froze to death.
- Basic requirement such as oxygen was absent.
- No proper sanitation and hygiene were maintained at these hospitals.
The need for Public Health Care System
- India is a huge country with a large number of people who belong to poor economic households. According to the Tendulkar Committee estimates in 2011-12, 21.92% of people live below the poverty line. In such a case, it is important that the Government steps in and provides this section of people, the proper health care facilities that are needed.
- India is a signatoryof the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights), 1948 and it is our duty to ensure this basic human right is ensured to all despite their economic status.
Article 25 states, “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services.”
- The seventh schedule of the Constitution puts Health as a state subject. This means it is the duty of the State Government to ensure there is proper penetration of these services to the rural and remote areas of their state.
The current structure of the Public Health Care
The healthcare system is organized into:
- Sub-centers and Primary Health Centres (PHCs) at the primary levels.
- Community Health Centres (CHCs) and smaller Sub-District hospitals at secondary levels.
- Medical Colleges and District/General Hospitals at tertiary levels.
Issues with the Public Health Care Sector
- India spends a total of 3.9 percent of GDP (including public and private expenditure) on health. This is a very small amount considering the huge population of the country. Our neighbors like Myanmar, Nepal spend a lot more. In a developing country, it is important that more spending should be made on government health care to ensure better results.
- There is a huge difference between medical treatment in rural and urban areas.
- Lacks of doctors, malpractices, careless doctors are also an issue that leads to poor medical treatments and deaths.
- The poor facilities or lack of any at government-run hospitals.
- Poor infrastructure, sanitation, and hygiene at these hospitals.
- Outdated machines and facilities that have not been updated for years.
How to improve the situation?
- Have a proper check and balance system to ensure proper infrastructure and facilities.
- Increase expenditure for this sector.
- Make doctors accountable at these government hospitals and ensure that they are not absent.
- More awareness and work towards a preventive measure rather than curative measure as suggested by the Bhore Committee, 1946.
- Improve the nutrition and eating habits of people.
- Keeping a check on the medicines and drug pricing.
- Implementation of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana should be done with full dedication.
- Collaborate with private sectors to ensure a wider reach.
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