How many citizens in India can afford private medical treatment today? Majority of our population is still dependent on government run hospitals. But, the number of government hospitals that we have against the population that is dependent on it is very less. Also, the condition of these hospitals is extremely poor, be it infrastructure, condition of doctors, equipment required for various purposes etc. Is it not the responsibility of the government to give good health care to its citizen? Why is it then spending so little out of its GDP on health care?
According to the report released by National Health Profile-2019 (NHP-2019) recently , at 1.28% of the GDP (2017-18 Budget Estimate), the country’s public expenditure on health continues to remain the lowest in the world., It would be an uphill task to meet the target of 2.5% of the GDP by 2025 that the government is aiming at. In fact, it has stayed a little over 1% for the past 10 years. It has been pretty much stagnant.
The comparative data from 2016 mentioned in the NHP shows that among the 10 South East Asia region countries, India, at 0.93% of the GDP, was above only Bangladesh at 0.42%. India’s neighbours, such as Sri Lanka (1.68%), Indonesia (1.40%), Nepal (1.17%) and Myanmar (1.02%) are spending far more than India on healthcare.
Women continue to be the worst sufferers of the neglect of the healthcare. Anaemia is still a huge health concern in women of both rural and urban area along with 60% of children. This creates a huge problem for mothers during child birth especially in the rural area causing death while giving birth or resulting into a malnourished child.
Even though the government conducts various surveys regarding various diseases throughout the country, but unless it provides the necessary affordable or free health care to its citizens, these surveys are just figures on papers, with no action taken on it.
Providing affordable good quality education and health care to all its citizen is government’s responsibility. However, all the policies of the government are in favour of privatization of these basic necessities. Government schools and hospitals are being neglected so that citizens are forced to go to private institutions.
We youth must condemn these anti-people policies of government and demand that government must fulfil its basic duty of providing affordable healthcare and education. And, if it cannot fulfil its this basic duty, it has no business to exist.