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

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Challenges in Financing Healthcare

The Third People's Health Assembly was held in July in Cape Town, South Africa with its theme of "Health for All Now". Developing countries which transformed public health systems under the structural adjustment policies into insurance-based health models have failed in providing healthcare to the poor. Where does India stand in relation to the ruling United Progressive Alliance's commitment to take public health spending to 3% of the GDP by 2012?

The Uncharitable Trust Hospitals

A huge amount of capital is being invested in multi-specialty hospitals in Maharashtra which take advantage of the Public Charitable Trust Act, 1950 and avail of tax waivers and land concessions. However, the mandatory benefi ts to poor patients in lieu of these waivers are totally ignored. There should be an investigation into this social and economic crime and the loss to the exchequer should be recovered along with penalties imposed on these hospitals.

Sinking Flagships and Health Budgets in India

The centre's attempt to increase spending on public health by hiking allocations to its National Rural Health Mission programme has failed because the states have responded by reducing their expenditure. Instead of decentralising expenditure on health, the centre has taken control of a larger share of resources for the sector, which have not been adequately utilised even for the priority programmes. The irony is that those who deliver care, understand the situation and can plan and budget have no role in decision-making while the decision-makers have no idea of the ground realities.

Need to Universalise Social Security

Those who can afford it get their own social security through a public mandate and those who cannot afford it have to buy or arrange their own social security. This malaise can only be overcome by universalising social security. The NCEUS' fragmented approach to social security is no solution.

Is the Trend in Health Changing?

This article examines the allocations for health in the budget in the light of the commitments made in the National Common Minimum Programme and the trend in state governments' expenditures. The focus is on the National Rural Health Mission.

Urgent Concerns on Abortion Services

While the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP Act) has existed for 33 years, certified and legal abortion facilities account for only a quarter of all such private facilities in the country. Neither the public nor private abortion services have fully measured up to the needs of the abortion seekers.

Draft National Health Policy 2001 - II : Resource Generation without Planned Allocation

Unlike the health policy of 1983, this policy attempts to address the problem of poor financial allocations for health care and recommends that it be enhanced considerably. But without a detailed exercise inquiring into the present pattern of allocations, this prescription, overdue as it is, will not serve any purpose. If the additional resources are to make an impact, considerable restructuring of the health system has to be undertaken urgently.

PNDT Act and People's Action

Despite the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 having been around for over five years femicide has continued rampantly in many states. The 2001 Census figures pertaining to the sex ratio of the 0-6 year population bear adequate testimony to this. There...

Health Care Budgets in a Changing Political Economy

A meaningful analysis of recent health budgets can only be made in the context of the direct and indirect encouragement given by the state to the growth of the private sector in health services. First, the slowing down of state investment in the hospital sector and the subsidies, soft loans and duty and tax exemptions offered; second, the creation of a market for modern health care through the setting up of PHCs and cottage hospitals in the rural areas; and third, the consistent expansion in highly qualified medical personnel who could not be absorbed in the state sector.

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