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

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Sickness within the Public Health System

A spate of hospital deaths in Nanded is an outcome of a crippled public health system due to multiple deficiencies.

Ravi Duggal writes:

What happened at the Shankarrao Chavan Medical College and Hospital in Nanded is only the tip of the iceberg. Unwarranted deaths happen all the time because of the sheer neglect of the public health system across the country. Public health expenditure has hovered around 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) for decades despite our national health policies since 1982 mandating at least a commitment of 2.5% of GDP for healthcare. Post 1982, under the Minimum Needs Programme, an aggressive effort at transforming the public health system was initiated with public health spending peaking at 1.6% of GDP in 1986–87. But this trigger for change succumbed to the economic crises at the turn of the 1990s after which, under structural adjustment policies, the political economy of healthcare in India was drastically altered, veering it towards privatisation and private sector expansion and public health investment getting truncated. Since then, the continued underfinancing of healthcare by the Indian state is responsible for the deficits that exist within the public health system.

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Updated On : 21st Oct, 2023
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