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

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Cut Practice in Private Healthcare

The Government of Maharashtra had set up a committee to draft the Prevention of Cut Practice in Healthcare Services Act, 2017 to stop cut practice in the medical profession. In the last two decades, there has been rapid commercialisation of medical services which has led to cut-throat competition among doctors to attract patients for higher revenue generation. This article presents the views of doctors about different aspects of cut practice, such as its prevalence, trends and the ways to stop it.

Efficiency of Healthcare Sector in Bihar

In this article, we focus on the efficiency of the healthcare system at the district level for Bihar. Although relatively an economically and socially disadvantaged state, the infant mortality rate in Bihar is very close to the all-India average. We explore the reasons for the differential performance of different districts by using data envelopment analysis. The efficiency rankings from our results indicate a mix of inefficiency, inadequacy of inputs, and the presence of an optimal targeting of funds under the National Rural Health Mission to low-performing districts.

Deploying the Power of Social Protection to Improve Nutrition

The nutritional status of women and children in India continues to be poor. In this paper, we discuss how three major flagship social protection government programmes—the Targeted Public Distribution System, the Mid-day Meal Scheme, and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act—can be made more nutrition sensitive. We discuss three potential approaches to making these programmes deliver better nutrition outcomes. These are strengthening governance and operations so that the programmes achieve their basic goals of improving food security and poverty; integrating nutrition goals and actions for each of these programmes; and leveraging the reach and scale of these programmes to also deliver specific nutrition interventions via these programmes, especially the tpds.

Investing in Health

The publication of “Investing in Health,” the World Bank’s highly influential 1993 World Development Report, has guided structural adjustment policies and health sector reforms in many developing countries. This study looks at how investment in health has since taken place in India with the withdrawal of the state from healthcare, transformation of healthcare into a commodity, and promotion of the private healthcare sector by the state. This has led to an unregulated industry that is aggressively seeking expansion and profits from the provision of healthcare, and attracting investments by global finance capital.

Where Is the Husband?

Despite global efforts towards creating awareness and involving men in maternal and reproductive health of women, their participation remains low, particularly among the tribal population.

India’s Slip on Global Hunger Index

After witnessing an improvement from 2008 to 2014, India’s rank on Global Hunger Index slipped in 2016. This slip is attributed to reformulation of GHI to encompass the multidimensional character of malnutrition, wherein underweight was replaced by stunting and wasting. While GHI scores of several other countries witnessed a decline, India fared worse. This is explained through a stickiness in child stunting levels in India attributed to gendered norms, poor sanitation, and high regional concentration.

Right to Safe Abortion

The case of the 10-year-old victim of rape who is pregnant and awaiting delivery after being denied permission to abort by the courts is an urgent indication that all stakeholders must come together and find a solution for unwanted pregnancies of more than 20 weeks.

Barriers to Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence

Strict adherence to treatment is critical for the effective management of HIV. Research suggests that adherence to treatment should be greater than 95% for maximum benefit from antiretroviral therapy. However, observation at one of India’s 355 ART centres identified several barriers to adherence, including shortage of drugs and CD4 test kits.

Treatment Gap in Mental Healthcare

There is a wide treatment gap in Indian mental healthcare. This article discusses the treatment gap and the contributing factors, and suggests ways to reduce it. The political (policy perspective), social (stigma, discrimination, and gender), cultural (beliefs, explanations, and help-seeking behaviours), and economic (direct and indirect costs of treatment) factors addressed have long impeded mental healthcare. A policy and research review reflects that mental illness in India contributes significantly to the global occurrence of mental illness. The treatment gap causes substantial losses to individuals, families, society, and the nation. Innovation and capacity building are necessary to develop and implement locally relevant, feasible, and effective community-based mental healthcare models.

India Badly Needs Public Health Education

This article calls for the need to introduce undergraduate courses and degree programmes in public health across local colleges and universities in India. Undergraduate degrees in public health should be promoted in order to have an optimum number of public health professionals who can successfully meet the health challenges posed by rapid economic development.

International Rhetoric, Domestic Evidence

Civil society reports on sexual and reproductive health provide a contrast to the claims and assurances made by the government’s report to an international human rights mechanism on its public health commitments and achievements, with information that is at gross variance to the official report. This discordance questions the credibility and accountability of the government to these international human rights processes and more so, its citizens.

National Health Accounts Estimates

The National Health Accounts is a global tool that provides a snapshot of the flow of funds in a country’s health system by financing sources, providers of healthcare and healthcare functions. The Indian government’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released the NHA estimates for 2013–14 in August 2016 providing details of these expenditures by health financing schemes, providers and functions. This article comments on some of the major advances and gaps in the latest NHA estimation methodology and in the presentation of results.

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