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

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Smuggling-Riches for Revenue Collectors

Health The Rule, Not the Exception LAST week the prime minister, in his continuing voyage of 'discovering India', barged into the wards of the R G Kar Medical College and Hospital in Calcutta and came face to face with the atrocious state of public health. So appalled was he that he is reported to have departed from his prepared speech to express his unhappiness over the conditions in the hospital. And he lambasted the left front government for its inefficiency and its non-performance in health. The prime minister also went on to mention the lack of "facilities for sterilisation'' and "rat droppings all over the floor" in a primary health centre (PHC) he had visited earlier. All this led him to wonder aloud, "is this the way we will ensure health for all by 2000 AD?1', it is not surprising that the prime minister should take up an issue which would evoke an immediate and popular response. What is ironic is the implied suggestion in the prime minister's statement that West Bengal has the unique distinction of neglecting public health care. There is, of course, no doubt that the hospital in question is indeed in a deplorable state. A Calcutta newspaper has published a double-page photo feature on the institution showing gaping holes in the ceilings and overflowing bathrooms.

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