Will the FM Grab the Opportunity?

Probably no Finance Minister had it so good as Mr. Chidambaram now.  Our growth in robust and confidence is high.  The government is stable, and most free market policies are accepted across the political spectrum.  The FM may not be able to repeat the ‘dream budget’ of a decade ago, when direct taxes were reduced dramatically and the process of liberalization was given a fresh impetus.  But he can reshape the future with next week’s budget.

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.

Growth and Delivery of Services

The redoubtable Economist (June 3rd – 9th, 2006), in a special report on Indian business, asks the provocative question: “Can India fly?”.  The answer is that it has taken off; but its people could fly much higher without the fetters imposed by poor policies and incompetent government.  Most objective observers share this cautious optimism.

The policy issues are mired in politics and populism.  But Indian entrepreneurs and workers have a way of boosting production and productivity despite policy errors.  The real problem areas are infrastructure, education and healthcare.

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.

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