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Health Care in India

  • Date Submitted: 06/01/2012 04:21 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 68.3 
  • Words: 1118
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What is the point of having a great GDP if as a society we are unhealthy?
I am a bit of a dreamer. I dream that one day we will be living in a country where things will be different, and where the rich and the poor will both get the same, good, quality health care. To many it may seem like a totally impractical, and an unachievable dream. But it's a dream worth dreaming, and one that has every reason to come true.
Irrespective of whether you are rich or poor, when you lose a loved one, the pain is the same. To watch my child suffer and die because of an incurable disease while I am unable to do anything is truly sad. But if there is treatment available which can save my child, and I am unable to save my child because I can't afford it — and can only helplessly sit by and watch my child die — that is unimaginably tragic.
What is stopping us from having a great public health-care system?
A number of us pay our taxes. Some of us don't. And most of us don't earn enough to be required to pay direct taxes. A host of indirect taxes are also collected by each State. Each time we buy something, big or even small, we pay some or the other tax. So it turns out that the poor are also paying for public health care. Only they don't get proper services in return. Less than two per cent of our Gross Domestic Product — 1.4 per cent to be precise — is allotted to public health care.
Why?
Experts who work in this space say that it should be at least six per cent for a very basic level of public health facilities. I am neither an economist nor a doctor, but I would prefer to err on the safer side and say eight to 10 per cent is what it should be.
What is the point of having a great GDP if as a society we are unhealthy? Economic strength will come only if, first, we are healthy; and it will be of some use only if we are healthy enough to enjoy it.
Importantly, health is also a State issue and each State collects only indirect taxes. Why isn't more of our money spent on...

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