India is still behind in providing access to quality healthcare

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India is still behind in providing access to quality healthcare

Increasing investment in public health and making it a uniform sector for all can help combat this issue

New Delhi, 05 April 2018: As per a recent report, India ranks 154 out of 195 countries in providing healthcare access. Apart from funding, issues such as poor management, corruption, accountability, and ethics compound the problem. The need of the hour is for the government to ensure better access to quality healthcare for the poor and increase its spend on healthcare in a meaningful way.

Healthcare is not an electoral issue in India and government investment in public health has been very poor – at just about 4.7% of its GDP.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “While on the one hand India is a medical tourism destination, on the other, it is pushing its own citizens down to poor access to quality healthcare. There is an urgent need to increase government responsibility and accountability by putting the onus on higher officials and giving them a taste of the same medicine, or lack thereof, as the poor. States such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala can serve as examples. In these, health services are part of the electoral mandate, and therefore, the quality of services is better.”

The theme for World Health Day this year is universal access to quality healthcare. To realize this, it is imperative that all aspects to it are addressed as a whole and not in isolation.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President, CMAAO, said, “The UP government has shown the way forward by mandating that the poor should have access to the same quality of healthcare as government officials. It has insisted that government officials should go where the poor go. Such a move will infuse a sense of responsibility amongst the lawmakers and executors and is a step in the right direction.”

While we continue to demand better access to healthcare services for every Indian citizen, each of you has a responsibility to take care of yourself.

Develop Healthy Habits – Eat right, sleep right, exercise right

Everything in Moderation – Be it drinking, using the cell phone or even sitting in one place, remember to not overdo it

Ancient Wisdom – In addition to physical exercise, do Yoga and Meditation for your mental and spiritual well being and maintain equilibrium. Allow your body to heal itself.

Periodic Check-up – Prevention is better than cure. Early detection of most health problems can help in correcting lifestyles to slow the degeneration process and lead a longer and healthier life.

Avoid smoking – Not only active smoking, but passive too is very harmful for the body. In addition, manage your blood cholesterol, blood pressure as well as diabetes and maintain optimum weight. Limit your salt intake and drinking.