LOKSATTA’S HEALTH FOR ALL MISSION Round Table in Delhi on 23rd April and Presentation before NITI Aayog on 25th
Loksatta/ Foundation for Democratic Reforms (FDR) has prepared a detailed Plan of Action-Document on Health for All through which, each and every person, right from Delhi to the remotest corner of India, can access quality health services without spending a single rupee from own pockets and at the same time, costing very little to the Government.
With a view to ensure its implementation throughout India, Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan, under the auspices of Loksatta/FDR and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) will be organising a Round Table Conference on 23rd April, in the India International Centre, Delhi. Many experts from the field of medicine and health services will be participating in the Round Table Conference.
Thereafter, on 25th April, there will be a detailed presentation by Dr. JP and Prof Srinath Reddy (PHFI) before the NITI Aayog, as per their invitation.
The Health for All document is prepared by Loksatta after an in-depth study of the prevailing health systems in various countries. A detailed analysis of their experience and results achieved, self-evident statistics and all the relevant factors are incorporated into the Report to make it comprehensive and easily implementable.
The Report reveals the bitter truth that even small countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, with much less GDP as compared to India, have fared far better in ensuring quality health care to their peoples. Dr.JP has reminded the Media that in the OECD Survey on Educational Standards, conducted in 74 countries, India stood woefully at No.73. Kirgizstan had got the dubious distinction of standing at the bottom of the list at 74. But when it came to Health Services, even Kirgizstan’s health care system is far better than that of India. In the above mentioned four countries, as compared to India, the infant mortality rate is far less. India is spending just a pittance of 1.1% of its GDP on Health Care, and this is one of the lowest allocations compared to any major country or significant economy- developed, emerging or poor.
A workable solution lies in using India’s Innate Strengths
One need not despair and lose heart over the present sad state of affairs. India is blessed with many crucial strengths. We have a great medical expertise in the form of highly skilled and dedicated doctors and health personnel. We also have the wherewithal in our strong pharma sector to manufacture medicines at a fraction of the cost prevailing in the developed world. Coupled with the demand and technical knowledge of our people, India can provide free and quality Healthcare Services to her vast population, even on a very limited budget. Clarity on implementing the scheme and a strong political will are the crucial factors which will ensure healthcare to the last person in the most vulnerable position, throughout the length and breadth of the country, and that too, on a totally cashless basis.
LOKSATTA’S MODEL PLAN - SALIENT POINTS
Loksatta/FDR’s Model Plan for its Health for All Mission has taken a final shape after a long churning process and detailed deliberations. Under this easily implementable Action Plan, there will be one doctor for a population of 5,000 each. There will be a Team or Panel of Doctors available and based on their personal requirement, the patients have the freedom to choose a doctor of their choice from the said Panel. The expenses will be borne directly by the Government, through District Medical Boards, to be put in place. As regards the Primary and Secondary Sectors, it will be based on a Public Private Participation (PPP) Model. There will be a Super Speciality Hospital in each district to take care of the Tertiary level of Healthcare Services. Since the tertiary level involves high cost and low result, the treatment and expenses will be totally in the Government Hospitals only. If properly implemented, Loksatta’s Health for All model can deliver quality health without out of pocket expenditure of moderate cost of only 1.7% of GDP.
Loksatta has been arguing from the very beginning of its inception that it is the responsibility of the Government to provide free of cost, quality education and good healthcare services to its people. This step alone ensures that every child will have an equal opportunity to grow to its full potential. And this and this alone is the remedy to eradicate poverty and end discrimination on the basis of caste, gender, language, region and so on. Dr.JP has stressed the point that Loksatta is always forthright in denouncing freebies and loan-waiver schemes which only widen disparities in society and reduce the poor into beggars.
Dr.JP has recalled the success that Loksatta could achieve to some extent, through it National Health Mission. Now with the freshly prepared ‘Health for All Mission’ in hand, he will be meeting the Prime Minister, the leaders of the Opposition and other important persons to convince them for its effective and speedy implementation all over India.
Loksatta sources have stated that as part of their Five Point Agenda, they will be organising many programmes based on this crucial point of Health for All, so as to create awareness among people and through them bring pressure on the Government and the concerned agencies to implement this vital piece of reform, which will make India into a healthy and strong nation.