Role of the Government in Health

Government Plays a Role in Health

We blame the government for everything. Be it the de-constructed roads, frequent power cuts, etc. So why is it that when it comes to health, we blame the doctors but not the government? Doesn’t the government play a role when it comes to health? Let us know more!

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Health

A person not having any physical problems or injuries is healthy. Thus health is the ability to remain free from illness, injuries and diseases. But several other factors also contribute to being healthy like clean drinking water, pollution free environment, getting good food, hygienic conditions and a sound mind.

For example, if a person gets clean drinking water to drink and a pollution free environment to live they are likely to be healthy. On the other, and if people do not get these they will be prone to illness.

Healthcare Services in India: An overview

Here are some facts that will give you an idea of the present state of health services in India:

  • India has the world’s largest number of medical colleges and number of medical professionals qualifying every year.
  • India is one of the world’s largest producers and biggest exporters of medicines.
  • There is a considerable increase in the healthcare facilities.
  • A large number of medical tourists visit India every year for treatment. They get treatment in world class and high-end hospitals.

Health

On the other hand, there are some facts regarding the state of healthcare in our country that gives a completely different picture.

  • Almost half of the children are undernourished as they do not get adequate nutritious food to eat.
  • Very big amount of population is unable to get clean drinking water leading to water-borne diseases. Example diarrhoea, hepatitis and cholera.
  • Approximately, half a million people die from tuberculosis every year. Malaria is also another disease which has not been brought under control. Around 2 million people suffer from malaria every year.
  • Compared to urban areas rural areas suffer from lack of sound healthcare facilities. The ratio of qualified medical practitioners and population is very low there. People have to travel long distances to reach Health specialist and sometimes poor transport and communication facility cause delay in treatment and people die from minor or curable diseases only because they don’t get prompt and timely treatment.

Though, we have a large number of doctors, clinics and hospital, money, knowledge and experience we are unable to provide necessary Healthcare facilities to all people.

Categories of Healthcare Services

1. Public Health Care Services

Every state government has Health Care Centres in villages and multi-speciality hospitals in large metros, which provide free or low-cost healthcare facilities such as treatment of diseases, conducting an essential test and providing medicines.

Its main function is to prevent the spread of diseases like tuberculosis, polio, Malaria, jaundice, dengue or chikungunya. The “Pulse Polio Campaign” by the government is one such plan in which all children below the age of 5 years are given polio drops free of cost by health workers all over the country.

The reality is that in both Urban and rural areas people prefer to pay and avail better services by private doctors rather than using free treatment at public health centres, due to following reasons:

  • Better medical attention and a cleaner environment.
  • The doctors are better qualified and willing to spend more time with patients.
  • Even the poor prefer to go to private hospitals in the hope of better and faster recovery.

2. The role of government 

It is the responsibility of the government to improve the infrastructural resources which includes the availability of water, electrical grid, telecommunication, road etc. The central government allocates budget to State Government for these functions.

The Planning Commission of India among its various functions formulates a plan for the most effective and balanced utilization of the country’s resources. Every state has its own State Planning Commission. The State Planning Commission, in addition to other functions, is primarily responsible for giving necessary support to all the Urban Local Bodies.

It is the responsibility of the government to prevent and treat illness, provide proper health facilities like health centres, hospitals, laboratories for testing, ambulance services, blood bank and so on for all people. These services should be within the reach of every patient of the remotest corners.

The Kerela Experience

In 1996, 40% of the state budget was given to panchayat so that they can plan and provide the requirements. Due to this proper planning was done for water, food, women’s development and education.

This meant that water supply schemes were checked, the working of schools and Anganwadis were insured and specific problems of the village were raised and solved. Health Care Centres were also improved. All of these helped to improve the situation but some problems- such as shortage of medicines, insufficient hospital bed, fewer doctors remained and are needed to be addressed.

Question For You

Q1. What are the three positive facts of healthcare services in our country?

Ans: The three positive facts of healthcare services in our country are:

  • India has the world’s largest number of medical colleges and number of medical professionals qualifying every year.
  • India is one of the world’s largest producers and biggest exporters of medicines.
  • There is a considerable increase in the healthcare facilities.

Q2. What are the problems regarding healthcare that we face in our country?

Ans: The problems regarding healthcare that we face in our country are:

  • Almost half of the children are undernourished. They do not get adequate nutritious food to eat.
  • Very big amount of population is unable to get clean drinking water leading to water-borne diseases. Example diarrhoea, hepatitis and cholera.
  • Approximately, half a million people die from tuberculosis every year. Malaria is also another disease which has not been brought under control. Around 2 million people suffer from malaria every year

Q3. Why do the rural areas suffer from lack of sound healthcare facilities?

Ans: Compared to urban areas rural areas suffer from lack of sound healthcare facilities. The ratio of qualified medical practitioners and population is very low there. People have to travel long distances to reach Health specialist and sometimes poor transport and communication facility cause delay in treatment and people die from minor or curable diseases only because they don’t get prompt and timely treatment.

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Abhishek

Great post about health. I like it. Helpful and Informative Blog. Thanks for sharing it with us

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Role of the Government in Health
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