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.

Public Health Expenditure and Inequity

That economic prosperity and the state of health of a community go together is a self-evident proposition. As global prosperity improved after the Second World War, there has been significant improvement in health indicators. According to the Economist (Dec 20, 2001), between 1960 and 1995, life expectancy in poor countries rose by a remarkable 22 years. Infant mortality, which was around 150 per 1000 live births, fell to 40 on an average.

Perfection of Means and Confusion of Ends

For over half a century, economic prosperity has been the goal of post-war world. Even by 1939, the United States emerged as an economic giant, and the war only enhanced its economic strength and global power.  Western Europe was devastated by war, but with American support in the form of Marshall plan, there was rapid reconstruction and recovery. Japan too resumed its place among the prosperous nations quickly, thanks to the high levels of human development achieved even by late 19th century.

Public Defecation

She hurries-on before the sun is up or waits until dusk to avoid being seen by a host of passers by. Even at that time there is an occasional late returner or a bicycle rider passing by, when she instinctively stands up and covers her face in shame. Such is the plight of every young bride in villages of India. Our thousands of years’ old Indian civilization while touching on every facet of life seems to have strangely passed by one vital area – the scourge of having to relieve in public.

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