ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Meeta RajivlochanSubscribe to Meeta Rajivlochan

Need for Protocols in Public Health

The deaths in Chhattisgarh during a state-sponsored family planning camp held in November 2014 show, yet again, that the lack of checklists and an ad hoc style of functioning can and does result in disaster. This article explains the need for standardisation and protocols in key government processes and talks about the pathetic conditions in which medicines and surgical supplies are procured in public hospitals as well as the failure of state agencies to detect and prohibit sale of substandard drugs.

Improving Healthcare Services at Reduced Prices

The key to improving the quality of healthcare services in India and reducing costs at the same time can be found by enacting legislation which lays down minimum standards of patient care. In the absence of such standards and the reluctance of health insurance companies to standardise either price or quality, healthcare services continue to be expensive and of doubtful quality. Developing standards of patient care by legislative mandate and a change in the attitude of health insurers can change the equation in favour of the patient who is now at the mercy of the hospital.

Improving Healthcare Services at Reduced Prices

The key to improving the quality of healthcare services in India and reducing costs at the same time can be found by enacting legislation which lays down minimum standards of patient care. In the absence of such standards and the reluctance of health insurance companies to standardise either price or quality, healthcare services continue to be expensive and of doubtful quality. Developing standards of patient care by legislative mandate and a change in the attitude of health insurers can change the equation in favour of the patient who is now at the mercy of the hospital.

Public Audit: A Powerful Instrument Turned Blunt

Public Audit: A Powerful Instrument Turned Blunt Meeta Rajivlochan This refreshing book on the audit and accounts bureaucracy points out that there is a strong need to re- orient the business of audit in government. Public audit is the one instrument by which Parliament can hold the executive accountable. It points out serious problems both in the manner in which audit is done and what is done about the recommendations in the audit reports. But the enormous centralisation in the work of the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has rendered this instrument largely ineffective. The CAG has to put his signature to some 20 reports of the central government and about 65 to 70 reports of the state governments every year. In addition, he has to certify the finance and appropriation accounts of the union government, 28 state governments and all the union territories before they are placed in the respective houses. It is not possible for the CAG to go through the details of these reports. As a result audit is done in a very perfunctory fashion.

Old Prescriptions

Meeta Rajivlochan Agriculture and Rural Transformation in India by Goutam K Sarkar; Oxford University Press, Calcutta, 1995; pp ii + 232, Rs 425.

The Past in the Present-The Weavers of Malegaon

The Weavers of Malegaon Meeta Rajivlochan Does accessing the past enable a social group to formulate strategies for existence in contemporary times ? Is it necessary that a social group actually indulge in disciplined historical inquiry ? As it turns out the more common experience has been of groups creating and recreating a history for themselves without reference to the canons of historical research. Is this kind ofreconstruction the more authentic? Does it allow the concerned group to establish greater dignity for itself in the present? This paper reports on some aspects of the history of the weavers of Malegaon, addressing some of these issues.
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