Skip to main content

Privatisation of healthcare no solution, learn from Delhi's Mohalla Clinics: Niti Aayog told

By Our Representative
Well-known social and political activist Dr Sandeep Pandey, taking strong exception to the Niti Aayog plan to hand over district government hospitals to private players, has said that it should remember that "some of the best, most efficient and inclusive healthcare systems in the world are government-run."
Citing the examples of countries like Canada, Iran and Sri Lanka, which it says are "shining examples" of of healthcare systems, Dr Pandey, in a statement as a senior office bearer of the Socialist Party (India), says, "In India, too, the current Delhi government has made remarkable strides in improving access to quality healthcare."
The statement, also signed by Surabhi Agarwal and Bobby Ramakant, says, the Delhi government's "significant investments in close to 200 primary healthcare centres around Delhi, called Mohalla Clinics, and ensuring they are well-staffed and properly equipped", suggests what Niti Aayog should actually be recommending.
Pointing out that "in 2019, the Delhi government allocated 14% of its budget to healthcare", the statement says, as against this "the Indian government’s per capita expenditure on healthcare is among the lowest in the world and in the South Asian region".
Delhi government allocated 14% of its budget to healthcare as against Government of India's 2.5% of Central budget
While the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that countries should spend at least 4-5% of their GDP on health to achieve optimal healthcare outcomes, the statement says, "In the current central budget, the percentage of funds allocated for healthcare is 2.25%. This comes to about 1.4% of the GDP."
Noting that this stands in sharp contrast to the spending about 10% of India's budget on defence, the statement conrinues, "In the absence of the political will to provide adequate funding to something as basic and essential as healthcare, placing the blame of the system’s dismal performance on public sector inefficiencies and presenting this as a justification for privatisation, is clearly disingenuous."
It continues, "The problems of inadequate facilities, understaffed clinics and overworked and poorly performing personnel, which plague healthcare in India, are all linked to a lack of financial resources and bad governance, and cannot be solved without stronger government's commitment to public health."
The statement believes, "Privatisation can only lead to superficial improvements, while inevitably reducing access for most-in-need by driving up costs, taking us even further from the goal of universal healthcare", insisting, those who would suffer most are "people belonging to marginalised communities."

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Dalits rights meet planned on how citizenship law 'negates' Ambedkar's equality focus

By Our Representative
A Dalit rights meet has been planned at the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), Sanand, Ahmedabad district, to discuss implications of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed by Parliament on December 10-11, for Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalized sections. Announcing the decision, DSK director Martin Macwan said, the meet would take place on December 25, 2019, at 11.00 am, to commemorate the anniversary of burning of copies of Manusmriti by Dr BR Ambedkar.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.