Healthcare is meant only for rich!
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ We know this right from our childhood. But an apple is no longer is needed to keep doctors away. The cost of healthcare is doing the task perfectly fine without the apple. With the ever increasing population it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide affordable healthcare. And to add to the problems is the biased trend of medical infrastructure’s distribution. The rich can pay which is providing further impetus to increase facilities for the rich. The poor, who are in huge numbers, are catered by comparatively less number of hospitals and clinics, mostly owned by the government and only a few by private players. Is it becoming too costly for the poor to get sick?
1. The medical costs are increasing. This is the most important factor that shows how healthcare is skewed.
2. There are advances when it comes to solutions for lifestyle diseases. Lifestyle diseases are for the rich and not the poor.
3. There is not enough research going on, on the diseases which affect the poor.
4. There are not enough hospitals and healthcare units. Those that are there are booked by the rich.
5. ‘Haves’ and ‘Have Nots’ are also seen when it comes to urban and rural areas. New hospitals spring up in the urban areas only. Rural areas are neglected. Here the urban areas are the haves.
6. Many new doctors pass out of medical school each year. Most of them start clinics or hospitals in urban areas so as to earn more.
7. There are many multispecialty hospitals and clinics coming up. However these are in urban areas and their cost too is high.
8. Nowadays for even small sicknesses, doctors are prescribing a battery of tests which is possible only for the rich.
9. The government hospitals which claim to give good care in low cost are very unhygienic. They are overflowing with patients. Not enough beds and skilled man power is available to cater for them.
10. The doctors in government hospitals are absent for many days. No one takes notice of them. However the same thing will never be tolerated in hospitals serving the rich.
11. In short it is getting costlier day by day. Increasing inflation is adding to the woes.
1. There are numerous government ventures that provide cost effective treatment.
2. Most of the government clinics provide free treatment be it the rural area or the urban area.
3. The medical graduates are compulsorily made to serve the rural areas for a period of one year. This shows that the government is concerned of the rural areas and is taking steps to correct imbalance.
4. The government also provides funding to NGOs who make sure that the needy get the required health benefits. The NGOs also sometimes have tie-ups with the private hospitals. Thus even the poor can afford the treatment in such hospitals.
5. Many government hospitals provide the same level of treatment as the private hospitals in terms of medical expertise with very low cost. At many places, the government hospital doctors are much more talented than those found in private hospitals.
6. Government is trying to battle on two fronts. It’s trying to manage the ever increasing population as well as manage their healthcare. The private sector too is helping the government with this.
7. We can look at the situation of the number of hospitals in the following way – The private sector is handling the urban areas thus freeing the government to invest in the rural areas. Also, some private doctors have their own affordable hospitals in rural areas and the government too has affordable hospitals in urban areas. They both together are trying to provide the best care to all people be it rich or poor.
Healthcare is one of the basic amenities which all must get. It doesn’t matter if rich can pay and get better services. What matters is that the remaining, who cannot pay, are not getting even the basic healthcare. We must have a minimum standard which all must get. We can see that many private players as well as NGOs, etc. collaborate and make sure that the poor and the needy get the top care in low cost. The government must upgrade existing facilities to bring them to minimum level of hygiene and service standards. Also it must increase rural medical infrastructure. It will only be through concerted efforts of government, private players, NGOs, etc. that we can achieve universal healthcare for our nation.
Healthcare is meant only for rich!