Healthcare : Delhi vs India

There is lot of Limelight being thrown at given the recent Government formed by AAP led by Arvind Kejriwal.

Its not that healthcare initiatives in India have not been taken before this , but its has been growing at a snail pace and majority of population still doesn’t have the basic healthcare available to them.

“Health is a State subject and the Government of India has always tried to work in partnership with States to meet people’s needs” wrote Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in a 5 year progress update of the NRHM.

NRHM was launched in 2005 to provide accessible health services in rural areas. This agenda involved building infrastructure and healthcare staff with a female accredited social health activist (ASHA) in every village. The NRHM has been quite successful in achieving several of its projected targets

NRHM has significantly reduced the incidences of several diseases by increasing the number of health facilities (primary health centres and hospitals), care providers (ASHAs, doctors, nurses and paramedic staff) and community education. However, all of the NRHM’s expected outcomes have not materialized and there continues to be a critical shortage of trained medical professionals and access to medications.

National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), Department of AIDS

NACO aims to prevent HIV infection as well as offering support to HIV/AIDS patients. Its mission is accomplished by educating, counselling and testing services. Latest reports indicate that the number of new HIV infections has fallen by 50-60%and the current HIV/AIDS population, in India, is approximately 2 to 3.1million (3.4-9.4 million in 2002). However, infection rates continue to be high or increasing among certain subsets of the Indian population, that is, males (60%), those aged 15-49 years (89%), drug abusers (9%), homosexual males (6%) and female sex workers (5%).

Kerala Primary Health Care Model

In the 1990s, Kerala, aided by the high literacy rate (and hence high number of trained medical professionals) as well as organized local governance, embarked on a systematic approach of community involvement to establish a functional primary health care (PHC) centre in every village. Kerala attained an enviable drop in its infant and maternal death rates and increased life expectancy, at birth, to 70-76 years – well above the national average of 63-65 years. However, this model needs to be augmented with resources to address illnesses such as acute diarrhoeal diseases, measles, pneumonia, pulmonary tuberculosis and dengue.

High-potential game-changers

Besides inadequate infrastructure resources and medication inaccessibility the single-most weak point in India’s public health care change is the lack of qualified doctors and medical staff – a crucial connection between the patient and health services. Today, India produces only 50-60% of the doctors it requires for its medical needs of which only 2% join primary and community health centres to service 70% of its rural population. In order to address these shortages, the government has initiated and proposed several programs

Where does AAP Stands

There as been significant contribution by AAP in just a few months after it being in the government

AAP has implemented /plan to implement the following in a very short period of time

  1.  CSAT Ambulance to cater to pregnant women, sick neonates, victims of assault on priority basis.
  2. Charges levied for all services to be prominently displayed in hospital premises and on website
  3. Bio Medical Waste should not be mixed with other wastes and should be treated and disposed properly with accordance of rules
  4. All paid services in hospitals would be covered under consumer protection act, 1996
  5. Evening OPD’s being started in 11 Dispensaries for working class.
  6. 650 Hospital beds for people from economically weaker section in 45 Private Hospitals.
  7. 650 Bed Rajiv Gandhi Hospital pending for last 10 years to be finalized by June.
  8. Emergency Medical care to be provided to victims of crime , road accident , acid attack, sexual attack or critical patients

Apart from this , introduction of the concept of Mohalla Clinics for preliminary health issues and tests has become a hit among people


Although being faced by issues of not getting space for it and temporarily running it in rented houses, the concept has gone well down the Delhi population

In Addition to this , availability of medicines free of cost at Delhi Hospitals have come as a boon to those who cannot afford expensive medicines and had to borrow money from their relatives and friends and often from lenders at high interest.

Its a long time to go for AAP to be able to show its full potential , given limited powers and constant tussle with center

We will have to see how they fare…. but the start no doubt.. is worth appreciating.

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