Unified Health Policy Needed in India

13 February, 2009 at 12:36 Leave a comment

An op-ed piece in the Deccan Chronicle today titled Its time for a unified health policy in India by Ashok Malik makes for interesting reading. Some snippets…

    * Thirty years ago, India could get away with not providing quality sanitation to its people and not being able to eradicate mosquitoes that carried a variety of diseases. It could claim it was too poor.
    * Today, India says it is an emerging economic power, quotes robust GDP figures even in an otherwise grim global scenario and glories in sending missions to the moon. Its public health record can no longer be defended.
    * Yet, there is something morally disquieting (disgusting) about a system that makes vaccines for the world but cannot deliver them to its own children; and about a gleaming healthcare infrastructure that shuts out hundreds of millions of Indians because they can’t pay the bills.

    Ashok then goes on to describe two schemes – ‘Chiranjeevi Yojana’ in Gujarat and ‘Rajiv Arogyasri’ in Andhra Pradesh which should be read on the idiot screen. But it makes the economist in me wonder – is it because of this onus on health improvement that make Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh two of the most progressive states in the country or vice-versa?
    Between Chiranjeevi and Arogyasri, India has two templates that can potentially revolutionize its public health. But these have to be nationalized to achieve universality and economies of scale.

    Anycase, I should be doing a one-sheet illustration on the state of health in India one of these days (fingers crossed) although eSanjeevi Storyboard does touch upon telemedicine and 1-rupee-a-day health insurance with biometric card…

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    Entry filed under: BoP, CWorks, Deesha, Economy, Health, India, MCe2, Politics, Poverty, Projects, Research, WebXP.

    Star Wars – Zero Sci, Lame Fi, Girl Loser Bottom of Pyramid – Debate – Semantics

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