Friday, January 14, 2011

Dr. JP calls for restructuring healthcare delivery

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today called for a comprehensive and radical restructuring of healthcare delivery as recommended by the National Advisory Council (NAC) in 2005.

Commenting on the Union Government’s plan to launch a National Urban Health Mission which came to light during the Health Ministers’ conference in Hyderabad, Dr. JP recalled in a statement the NAC had recommended a National Health Mission. The Union Government, however, chose to launch a National Rural Health Mission earlier, and now plans a National Urban Health Mission.

The report on National Health Mission, drafted by Dr. JP, recommended that the Government assume total responsibility for extending free primary and secondary healthcare to every one. It suggested that the patient should have the freedom to choose the healthcare provider and that there should be competition between private and public sector health care providers. Payments to hospitals and incentives to doctors would depend on the number of patients they treat.

“By not promoting competition and choice, we are doing more of the same in the healthcare sector. India is the only major economy in the world which does not accord priority to healthcare,” said Dr. JP

Dr. JP pointed out the budgetary allocation to healthcare remained at one percent, although the UPA had committed itself in 2004 to raise it up to three percent.

Because of patchy and unsatisfactory healthcare in the public sector, people turn to costly corporate hospitals and incur heavy debts. Heavy indebtedness in the wake of ill health is driving people to end lives. Governments like Andhra Pradesh by promoting unbridled liquor consumption are ruining people’s health and pauperizing them.

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