Global rating of India’s public health scenario continues to be at the lower rung of the scale being regularly published by different agencies, including the World Health Organisation. One is at a loss to match the low rating of the land’s performance in healthcare with the other two reported facts namely a) India is on the cusp of becoming the world’s pharmaceutical hub and b) the nation’s healthcare sector has crossed the five lakh crore monetarily. Some other disturbing reports appearing occasionally in the dailies, namely i) a large presence of quacks across the country practicing all known systems of medicine, including the Western allopathic system and ii) more than one-third of world production of spurious drugs originates in India may have figured in the global expert survey findings.
By way of bestowing a negative compliment of the successive governments of the nation, India is being touted as world’s capital for diabetes for many years so far. In spite of laudable awareness programmes, covering all the regions of the country spanning even the rural parts, the deadly disease cancer is on the cards earning the above compliment for the country, closely followed by cardiac disorders and other debilitating diseases, not to forget blindness.
Ignorance of the intimate connect between the entire list of diseases bugging the land’s diaspora and their lifestyle, particularly the illiterate sections and also the indifference on the part of the literates about the discipline in food habits as well as hygiene are unwarranted hurdles in the path of the government’s functionaries in their efforts to provide the needed sickness-care. In this context, the poor upkeep of publicly-funded hospitals as well as the Public Health Centres, familiar to citizens of Mysuru, is blamed on inadequate funds to meet the cost of medicines. The reported fact that families in the country, on an average, spend nearly 80 percent of their health expenditure from their own pockets holds mirror to the extent of healthcare beyond the sections below poverty line.
In the foregoing context of a widening gap between the population’s suffering from diseases and the extent of assuaging the hardship, the just announced step of increasing the number of seats by 400 in 16 government colleges of Karnataka shall be seen by many as mere tokenism even as sickness stumps its care.