Medicine & Doctors · Politics · Public health

Demonetisation and Public Health: Only a Welfare-Intensive Budget 2017 Can Now Help BJP Save Face

This was carried by HuffPost India on Nov 28 2016. Here is the link, and below is an excerpt.

“It’s because, just like with demonetisation, the nation leaves them with no other choice. We let government hospitals crumble, and force our poor to go to those, ostensibly for the “greater benefit of the nation”. Because the money that our government could and should be spending (and that we as responsible citizens should be pushing it to spend) on staffing and upgrading and restocking and maintaining these hospitals is being spent elsewhere for the country’s supposed development—which, as we can see, mostly excludes the poor. On the other hand, the government provides top-class health facilities to ministers, MPs, and central government employees through the CGHS scheme — using citizens’ own tax money! To add insult to injury, the NITI Aayog, chaired by the Prime Minister himself, even wishes to “outsource” primary healthcare — the most important aspect of a nation’s health system — to private doctors. There is thus no discernible desire in the government to first itself build a robust public health system, even when the notorious resistance of healthcare to private market rules is well-known. We have naively begun chasing “Cashless India” and “Digital India” before ensuring something even as fundamental as “Healthy India”.”

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