HT Image
HT Image

Hooked on to an intravenous drip

India has a young population. But we will only be able to reap the benefits of this ‘demographic dividend’ by ensuring proper healthcare and education.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2008 09:47 PM IST

The health of a nation depends on the health of its citizens. But, unfortunately, India is probably the only socialist country in the world that has failed to run a credible public health system which provides accessible, affordable, accountable, effective and reliable healthcare for its people. A report released by the National Council for Applied Economic Research says that about a quarter of Indians who get hospitalised every year slip below the poverty line thanks to medical expenses for which they are not insured. Considering that nearly 70 per cent Indian families depend on a single member’s income, it’s understandable why falling ill means entering into an unending debt trap. Such setbacks, in fact, lead to several other collateral and long-term damages for the family. The 2007-08 Economic Survey admits that India’s position on health parameters “compared even to some of its neighbours continues to be unsatisfactory”. India compares poorly not only with China and Sri Lanka, but also Bangladesh and Nepal with respect to some indicators.

This appalling state of affairs is not confined to rural areas alone. Things are not much better in the heart of the capital as shown by a recent report, the first in a series on government hospitals carried in this paper. The hospital under scrutiny — Guru Tegh Bahadur — lacks adequate number of doctors and paramedics, medicines as basic as painkillers and medical equipment like gloves and surgical caps. For doctors, this is also a kind of a punishment posting because of lax security and the absence of even a basic facility like a waiting room. In a scenario like this, expecting professionals to perform is like asking a soldier to fight without weapons. If this is the case in a hospital in the privileged Capital of India, one can well imagine the situation in public health centres in rural areas. The Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr A. Ramadoss, has often talked about making it mandatory for fresh medical graduates to serve in the rural areas. But even this plan will not improve the situation if the bare essentials are not made available. At present, the Economic Survey says, there is a shortage of 19,269 sub-centres, 4,337 Primary Health Centres and 3,206 Community Health Centres in the country. The National Rural Health Mission has probably improved the statistics but on the ground level the gap between demand and supply continues to be yawning.

India has a young population. But we will only be able to reap the benefits of this ‘demographic dividend’ by ensuring proper healthcare and education. The substandard delivery of public health has encouraged the development of an exploitative private enterprise in healthcare and often, in rural areas, is run by people who pose as medical professionals. There is no way for the patients to find out whether the person is qualified as a doctor or not. Only by increasing the outlay for health, community involvement and strict monitoring can India revitalise its tottering health infrastructure. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has often talked of “fuller recognition” of health as a human right. Clearly, this is just what the doctor ordered.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Shantanu Muluk, a climate activist, arrives at National Cyber Forensic Lab for an investigation, in New Delhi, India, February 23, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi(REUTERS)
Shantanu Muluk, a climate activist, arrives at National Cyber Forensic Lab for an investigation, in New Delhi, India, February 23, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi(REUTERS)

Toolkit case: Shantanu Muluk’s bail plea hearing today

PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:40 AM IST
Additional sessions judge Dharmender Rana, who granted bail to Ravi on Tuesday, posted Muluk’s bail application for arguments on Thursday. Muluk had got transit bail from the Bombay high court on February 16 for a period of 10 days.
Close
In two parallel investigations, the CBI is also probing a multi-crore coal smuggling scam. (FILE PHOTO)
In two parallel investigations, the CBI is also probing a multi-crore coal smuggling scam. (FILE PHOTO)

CBI names TMC youth leader in charge-sheet of cattle smuggling case

PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:17 AM IST
  • Earlier this month, CBI in the first charge-sheet in the case had named BSF Commandant Satish Kumar and Murshidabad-based businessman Enamul Haque along with five others for their alleged involvement in cattle smuggling across the India-Bangladesh border.
Close
The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde said that even under the existing system, Magistrates are made witnesses during trial as they record dying declaration and hold test identification parade. (HT PHOTO).
The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde said that even under the existing system, Magistrates are made witnesses during trial as they record dying declaration and hold test identification parade. (HT PHOTO).

Top court proposes cadre of magistrates to fill gaps in police investigation

By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:55 PM IST
  • The bench, also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat apart from Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde were of the view that magistrates should play a more “intrusive” role in investigation.
Close
Police said the accused surrendered after killing the woman.(Representational Photo/Getty Images)
Police said the accused surrendered after killing the woman.(Representational Photo/Getty Images)

College student in Andhra Pradesh killed for rejecting marriage proposal

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:44 PM IST
  • Police said the accused and the victim were in a relationship for a year, but of late she had been avoiding him.
Close
Currently, the Railways have operationalized almost 65 per cent of Mail/Express trains and over 90 per cent of suburban services as compared to pre lockdown times. (HT PHOTO).
Currently, the Railways have operationalized almost 65 per cent of Mail/Express trains and over 90 per cent of suburban services as compared to pre lockdown times. (HT PHOTO).

Higher fares for short distance trains to discourage needless travel: Railways

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:31 PM IST
  • The national carrier at present is operating only special passenger trains since the curbs on lockdown were eased. Regular passenger trains have been suspended since March 25, 2020.
Close
When asked about the new strains of the virus that have been found in several parts of the country, Guleria said authorities are closely monitoring the situation.(ANI photo)
When asked about the new strains of the virus that have been found in several parts of the country, Guleria said authorities are closely monitoring the situation.(ANI photo)

New strains not more infectious, need to aggressively monitor situation: Guleria

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:28 PM IST
"Currently we have vaccines with efficacy of 70 per cent , 80 per cent, 90 per cent so even if there is slight fall in efficacy they will still be effective in preventing the virus from further spreading," Guleria told in an interview to ANI.
Close
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel recovered 2 Improvised Explosive Devices (1 pressure cooker and 1 pipe type) placed in a series manner near Dhanora, Narayanpur on Tuesday. (ANI photo)
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel recovered 2 Improvised Explosive Devices (1 pressure cooker and 1 pipe type) placed in a series manner near Dhanora, Narayanpur on Tuesday. (ANI photo)

2 security personnel killed in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur in Maoist attacks

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:16 PM IST
  • Both the casualties took place due to IED blasts.
Close
Motera Stadium is the world's largest cricket stadium. (PTI)
Motera Stadium is the world's largest cricket stadium. (PTI)

Govt clarifies on controversy over Motera stadium being named after PM

Written by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:22 PM IST
Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind, is part of a larger complex, named 'Sardar Patel Sports Complex'.
Close
Twitter ignored orders to remove content over farmers' protests.(Reuters)
Twitter ignored orders to remove content over farmers' protests.(Reuters)

India plans new social media controls after Twitter face-off

Reuters, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:03 PM IST
The latest draft rules say companies should remove the content as early as possible, but no later than 36 hours, after a government or legal order.
Close
Sanbor Shullai, one of the two BJP MLAs in Meghalaya, has described hi party as a sinking ship. (HT PHOTO)
Sanbor Shullai, one of the two BJP MLAs in Meghalaya, has described hi party as a sinking ship. (HT PHOTO)

Differences in Meghalaya BJP intensifies, coalition govt comes under strain

By David Laitphlang
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 10:52 PM IST
  • The BJP unit has also been at loggerheads with the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) dispensation with its chief Earnest Mawrie accusing it of anomalies in governance.
Close
Shahjahanpur's police chief said a few suspects have been detained for questioning .(Representational Photo/PTI)
Shahjahanpur's police chief said a few suspects have been detained for questioning .(Representational Photo/PTI)

UP cops hunt for clues into case of college girl found with burn injuries

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 10:03 PM IST
  • Shahjahanpur’s superintendent of police S Anand, SP, denied reports that the girl was burnt after a failed rape attempt
Close
An SDRF team widening the channel of a glacial lake in Uttarakhand to increase the discharge of water from it on Wednesday.(SDRF)
An SDRF team widening the channel of a glacial lake in Uttarakhand to increase the discharge of water from it on Wednesday.(SDRF)

Expert team widens mouth of lake formed upstream Rishiganga for faster drainage

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:39 PM IST
  • An expert team is trying to drain out the lake to prevent another tragedy like the Chamoli flash flood.
Close
The Koya tribes in large numbers make it a point to assemble at Medaram on “Magha Suddha Pournami” (the full-moon day of the month of Magha) every year to pay obeisance to the deities. (HT PHOTO).
The Koya tribes in large numbers make it a point to assemble at Medaram on “Magha Suddha Pournami” (the full-moon day of the month of Magha) every year to pay obeisance to the deities. (HT PHOTO).

Amid Covid-19 fears, thousands throng Telangana’s Sammakka-Saralamma festival

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:34 PM IST
  • The tribal fair draws devotees not only from Telangana, but also from other states like Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
Close
The results will be considered valid if the test was 72 hours of flight departure. (PTI Photo/Kunal Patil)(PTI)
The results will be considered valid if the test was 72 hours of flight departure. (PTI Photo/Kunal Patil)(PTI)

West Bengal makes RT-PCR tests mandatory for arrivals from Maha, 3 other states

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Ayshee Bhaduri, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:28 PM IST
  • The notice released by the state government stated “All passengers coming to West Bengal from the aforementioned 4 states shall mandatorily carry a covid negative RT-PCR report for such test conducted within 72 hours of flight departure.”
Close
Army troopers near the encounter site in Shalgul forests in Anantnag district on Wednesday.(ANI)
Army troopers near the encounter site in Shalgul forests in Anantnag district on Wednesday.(ANI)

2 terrorists killed in encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’ Anantnag

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:17 PM IST
  • The police said they were ascertaining the identities and affiliation of the two terrorists.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP