More Doctors Don’t Mean Better Health

A few days ago, the government of AP declared their goal of starting 40 medical colleges in the state. Certainly society does need more and better health personnel. But mere increase in doctors’ strength does not help.

Poverty and Healthcare

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Recently a friend’s son was hit by a bout of fever. When my friend called me and explained the symptoms, I have immediately advised to start him on a course of anti malarial medicine and the kid recovered in no time. The whole episode costed my friend very little – no hospitalization, no trauma associated with long illness or anything of such sort.

Common Sense and Quality of Life

Recently, a doctor friend of mine in Hyderabad commented that too many people were approaching him with respiratory disorders. This can be partly explained by the winter cold. But in a substantial measure our illnesses are man-made. Here are some facts for you. A study by a reputed public health journal pointed out that 30-50 % of twin cities population is suffering from allergy, asthma and other respiratory disorders. Other studies also pointed out that almost 25% of school children in the city are suffering from asthma and other respiratory disorders such as bronchitis.

Simple Steps to Save Our Sweet Little Ones

While the Kumbakonam tragedy is yet to fade away from our memory, the heartrending saga of kids with heart aliments has come to stalk our collective conscience. Hundreds of paediatric cardiac patients were paraded on the streets of Hyderabad seeking surgical treatment, and one of them died in front of television cameras. The well-meaning media and activists are focusing on the human drama and pathos and pressurizing the government to make allocations. Hospitals are hard-put to cope with the patient-load. In all this, the real issues are ignored to the detriment of the poor.

Is National Health Insurance Viable in India?

The UPA government’s National Common Minimum Programme advocates a national health insurance scheme to help poor tide over the economic crises resulting from costs of illhealth. Is such insurance a viable option? This requires detailed examination, and a serious national debate. Several states are toying with such an idea of health insurance in recent months. Any hasty decisions without careful evaluation of costs and benefits will land the nation in a potentially no-win situation.

Towards a National Health Service

align="left">In many ways the 2004 Lok Sabha election verdict is an expression of discontent by the poor and dispossessed. But the verdicts are not against economic reform; they are for a more inclusive growth process that meets the aspirations and basic needs of the underprivileged.

Public Hospitals – Choice and Competition

One of the challenges facing us today is providing reasonable quality healthcare to all people, irrespective of birth, caste, status and wealth. We are one of the most poorly served countries in terms of health care. And yet we have an impressive infrastructure of medical institutions.

The Great Debate: Allocations Vs Delivery

The new UPA government has made commitments to enhance allocations for agriculture, employment guarantee, education, health-care and many other sectors. Given the precarious condition of our public finance, a great debate is raging about the wisdom of allocations vs focusing on better delivery of services.

National Health Insurance – Will it Work?

The UPA government has made a commitment to introduce a national health insurance scheme for the benefit of poor families and promised to raise public spending on health to at least 2-3% of GDP over the next five years with focus on preventive and primary health-care.

Ethics and Health

A CT scan of abdomen is equal to 400 X-rays in terms of the radiation exposure to the patient. Spiral CT of Abdomen is equal to 300 X-rays. Don’t rub your eyes in disbelief. It is true! You are not the only one; many experienced doctors whom you trust your life with are also unaware of these facts. A study involving 130 doctors, which was published in British Medical Journal, has shown that most of the doctors are unaware of the radiation hazard that their patients are exposed to when they are subjected to various diagnostic tests.