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In India, it is often said that we are unable to provide health services for all

because the government does not have enough money and facilities. After
reading the above left hand column, do you think this is true? Discuss.

India’s health care facility is in a state of paradox. India has a large number of
doctors, clinics and hospitals. It has the ability to look after the health of its
population including villagers. However, it cannot make the necessary healthcare
available to all.

Where do you go when you are ill? Are there any problems that you face? Write
a paragraph based on your experience.
We go to the doctor who has a private clinic. In some serious cases, we go to a
private hospital. The doctors want lots of medical test and prescribe lots of
branded medicines. Treatment is expensive there.

What problems did Aman face in the government hospital? How do you think the
hospital can work in a better manner? Discuss.
Aman was taken to a big Government Hospital. We had to wait in a long queue at
the OPD counter. He was feeling sick. The doctor examined and suggested him a
blood test. Then they had to go and stand in another long queue. The place was
overcrowded. They got the test results after three days, and went back to the
hospital again. There was a different doctor that day.
The hospital worked in a better manner as it him one fever-reducing medicine.

Why did Ranjan have to spend so much money? Give reasons.

Ranjan’s father took Ranjan to a very big private hospital having best facilities.
They had to pay Rs. 500 to the reception. The doctor asked for different medical
tests and gave him two types of medicine and syrup. This cost Ranjan so much

What problems do we face in private hospitals? Discuss.

Private hospitals are good but treatment is very expensive there. They prefer lots
of diagnostic tests and prescribe branded medicines which are very costly.

In what ways is the public health system meant for everyone?

The public health services are provided by the government. Therefore, anyone
can have such facilities as the government belongs to all.
One of the most important aspects of the public health system is to provide
quality health care services either free of cost or at a low cost. , so that even the
poor can seek treatment.

Healthcare and equality: Is adequate healthcare available to all?

The adequate healthcare facilities are not available to all. Many people cannot
afford to pay for even the existing facilities. About 40 per cent of people who
suffer from diseases or admitted to hospital need to borrow money or sell some of
their possessions to pay for the expenses. In rural areas, the healthcare facilities
are very inadequate.

Private health facilities can mean many things. Explain with the help of some
examples from your area.
The private health care facilities are mostly in urban areas. The cost of these
services is very high. Medicines prescribed are branded and therefore expensive.
Many people cannot afford to medical services from the private hospitals. Barely
20 per cent of the population can afford all the medicines.
The governments have little control over the private health facilities. For private
health facilities, patients pay a lot of money.
Nowadays, large companies are running hospitals, and some are engaged in
manufacturing and selling medicines.

How can health care be made more affordable? Discuss.

The Medical Council of India has instructed the physicians that they should, as
far as possible, prescribe generic drugs which are much cheaper than branded
medicines. The doctors are also supposed to ensure that there is a rational
prescription and use of drugs. There should be focus on healthy living to avoid
illness. People should be made aware of the importance of nutrition, hygiene,
yoga, and good habits.

What can be done to make the health situation better?

There is little doubt that the health situation of most people in our country is not
good. It is the responsibility of the government to provide quality healthcare
services to all its citizens, especially the poor and the disadvantaged. Health is
dependent on basic amenities and social conditions of the people. Moreover, it is
also dependent on healthcare services. Health education is necessary for all. The
cleanliness campaign is very helpful for maintaining health.
What is the role of the Government in Health?
Both the central government and the state governments play important roles in
maintaining and promoting health. Even the local self-government also runs
health centres and hospitals. Both the government and private companies have
come out with many health insurance schemes. The All India Institute of Medical
Sciences is run by the central government. It is known to be very prestigious.
Government has introduced the Rashtriya Swasthiya Bima Yojana to cover health
insurance for those living Below Poverty Line (BPL).

What is the Kerala experience?

In 1996, the Kerala government made some major changes in the state. Forty per
cent of the entire state budget was given to panchayats for their requirements. It
was possible for villagers to have proper food, education, health facilities,
development of women, etc. Despite these efforts, there was shortage of
medicines, hospital beds, doctors remained, and these needed to be addressed.
What is Costa Rican Approach?
Costa Rica is considered to be one of the healthiest countries in South America.
The Costa Rican government believes that a country has to be healthy for its
development and pays a lot of attention to the health of its people. Costa Rica
doesn’t maintain army and spend its money on health, drinking water, sanitation,
nutrition, housing and other necessary amenities. Health education is also
considered very important.
The Costa Rican government provides basic services and amenities to all Costa
Ricans. For example, it provides safe drinking water, sanitation, nutrition and
housing. Health education is also considered very important and knowledge
about health is an essential part of education at all levels.
Under Article 47 of the Constitution, it is said that it is the “duty of the State to
raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public
Standard of living includes the fulfillment of basic amenities
Public: An activity or service that is meant for all people in the country and is
mainly organized by the government. This includes schools, hospitals, telephone
services, etc. People can demand these services and also raise questions about
their non-functioning.
Private: An activity or service that is organized by an individual or company for
their own gain.
Medical tourists: This refers to foreigners who come to this country specifically
for medical treatment at hospitals that offer world–class facilities at a lower cost
Facility Affordability Availability Quality
Private Expensive Mostly in cities Better
Public Not expensive Both in cities and Good
than what they would have to pay in their own countries.
Communicable diseases: These are diseases that are spread from one person to
another in many ways such as through water, food, air, etc.
OPD: This is the short form for ‘Out Patient Department’. This is where people
are first brought in and treated in a hospital without being admitted to any
special ward.
Ethics: Moral principles that influence a person’s behaviour
Generic names: These are chemical names of the drugs. They help in identifying
the ingredients. They are globally recognised. For example, acetyl salicylic acid is
the generic name of Aspirin.