Diagnostic tools as well as methods of finding out the bugs tormenting the body have been witnessing a rapid rise in Mysuru, given the proliferation of pathological testing establishments in the city. Both government and private agencies seem to be in a race to create new infrastructure for sickness care in the city with the emergence of super-speciality hospitals housing state-of-the-art medical hardware, resulting in substantial relief to patients in Mysuru and surrounding regions in terms of exorbitant cost of seeking medical attention in outstation places, including Bengaluru.
In addition to these facilities for which Mysuru had to wait for many years, its residents facing medical emergencies are further benefited by doctors specialising in virtually all areas of medical practice taking residence in the city. Their services and the facilities do cost a bomb to the families of the sick and there begins the debate on the intimate link between poverty and health.
The ancient knowledge on diagnosis and finding remedies to many diseases, as enunciated by Charaka and Sushrutha several centuries ago, though drawn by practitioners of Ayurveda in present times, seems to have been overshadowed by the glitz and glamour of the super-speciality hospitals and the awe in which the specialist doctors are held, no matter what it costs to avail their services.
Figures relating to and portraying the land’s health- care sector, quoted in articles by many knowledgeable observers and published in dailies are bewildering. The economic value of the healthcare market in the country is put at 6,50,000 crore rupees. Growing at nearly 23 percent annually, it is expected to cross thrice that worth in the next three years. Described as medical tourism in the country, its hospitals have reportedly treated 1.27million patients from various countries including UK, USA and China. Juxtaposed to these impressive figures, which don’t mean anything to millions of Indians both in urban spaces and rural parts barely keeping their soul and limbs together, is also the recent revelation by a global agency placing India at rank 143 in a list of 188 countries with respect to a range of health indicators.
Brazenly inadequate outlay on health care in the annual budgets of both Union Government and its counterparts in the nation’s 36 States and Union Territories virtually amounts to adding insult to injury as it were in the present scenario of expanding infrastructure limited to urban spaces and declining dividends thereof, with the rural masses left to fend for themselves.