The UPA II report card claims that they have brought about a perceptible change in the overall health scenario of the country, by reducing crude birth rate and infant mortality, eradicating polio and launching the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). We look back at some of the significant steps taken by the UPA government in the health avenue:
- The crude birth rate (number of births per 1000 people) has declined by 1.7 points from 2005 while the crude death rate during the same period declined by .4 points. Infant mortality rate (IMR) has registered a decline of 3 points from the previous year.
- In order to further reduce barriers to institutional care for pregnant women and sick new born, a new initiative called the ‘Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram’ was launched in June 2011.
- There were no wild polio cases in the last year resulting in WHO taking India off the polio-endemic list which is a laudable achievement considering India’s huge population and other logistics.
- A declining rate in the number of malaria, kala-azar and dengue cases.
- The NRHM was a laudable operation where the government picked out 264 backwards districts to improve healthcare services and during the budget session announced that it will set up a similar operation for the urban poor called the National Urban Health Mission.
- The government also introduced a bill to set up the National Commission of Human Resources and Health which will have under its ambit institutions like the Medical Council of India, Dental Council of India and Nursing Council of India.
- Setting up 6 AIIMS like institutions which across the country in Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh which should be functional by the 2012-13 academic session.
- Setting up an AIDS control mission that was lauded by the United Nations.
Now the government report seemed to skirt over the negative aspects of the last 3 years so we thought we’d ask them some questions about policies that didn’t get implemented or healthcare issues that left a bad taste in the mouth.
- Why hasn’t the National Urban Health Mission been launched yet?
- Why weren’t swine flu measures in place despite flu pandemic of 2009?
- Who’s responsible for the high number of infant deaths in J & K and West Bengal?
- Why is AIIMS, the country’s premier medical institution severely understaffed?
- Why are there so many irregularities in the running of the CDSCO (drug control agency) be it the lack of quality or quantity of drug inspectors, no clinical trials for drugs or the alleged nexus between big pharmas, doctors and drug agencies?
- Is the three year compulsory rural service for medical graduates a good idea?
- Is it fair to make medical students going abroad for studies to sign bonds that’ll force them to come back after completing their education?
So let us know whether you’re happy with the current government’s initiative to improve healthcare or do you think the government can do a better job?