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The Face Of Indian Health Care: A World Health Day Evaluation

ithin no time a nurse pushes an intravenous cannula gently over the vein for antibiotic administration. Extreme caution is being taken to maintain the prefect temperature in the patient’s room, including the bathroom. Everything happens at the touch of a button, whether it is about adjusting the bed or drawing up a hydraulic food tray beneath the bed or calling the nurse for help. The room has everything from television to plug points to recharge a mobile. Within few days of successful treatment, the patient is discharged from the hospital, led to believe that illness and death happens only to those outside the heaven.

The above-mentioned scenarios only reflect the reality and the lack of the Indian health care system. This indeed in the reach of the health care industry in India, with the rich being offered luxurious medical treatment while the poor and the needy left to the mercy of the state and central governments, national health programmes, NGOs, and health missionaries of course!

Although we have achieved a lot in the health sector since Independence, such as increase in life expectancy, reduction in the infant mortality rate by as much as 50% (68/1000 compared to 146/1000 in 1947), successful provision of immunizations to 42% of children, a rapid growth of the private heath care infrastructure. Infact, more than 50% of the investment in the health care sector is contributed by private sector undertaking.

Although we now have to large extent eliminated the social stigma associated with leprosy, 60% of the world’s leprosy patients are from India. Communicable diseases continue to be responsible for a large proportion of the deaths (42%). Although the Indian Government has been working for the past several decades to improve the situation, diseases like tuberculosis, AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, respiratory infections tropical diseases like malaria continue to haunt the country, claiming a massive number of lives, every y
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