IN reference to ‘India’s healthcare spending’, the healthcare sector needs attention in the current socio-economic scenario of rural India. State governments have been providing healthcare services according to their resources, but it is a matter of concern that fund allocation has been decreasing. Big private hospitals are out of the reach of the common man. Primary health centres in rural areas lack sufficient staff. The Centre has started many schemes for the lower strata of society without achieving the desired objectives. Every citizen should be covered under health insurance by creating a mechanism with suitable funds in the budget. Every employee, whether in the private or public sector, should contribute towards mandatory insurance. Rest of the citizens may be covered by the government. Private hospitals should not be allowed to charge very high fees. At the same time, funds and infrastructure equipped with doctors, ANMs and staff should be managed on priority to check the erosion of health services.
Dilwar Ali Meerak, TOHANA
Poor bill of health
Refer to ‘India’s healthcare spending’; though the government has opened PHCs and CHCs, the service in villages is far from satisfactory. At some health centres, there are no doctors. At other centres, where a doctor is available, he has to look after two or three centres at different locations on rotation. Also, there are no diagnostic facilities there. In the name of treatment, some paramedics can be seen dispensing medicines to patients as per their limited knowledge. Serious patients have to rush to hospitals in cities and many die on the way.
CS Mann, Una
The medical education network has come a long way in terms of quantity. Currently, there are nearly 600 medical colleges or institutions where MBBS courses are being conducted, producing about 92,000 doctors a year. In addition, hundreds of aspirants go abroad for medical studies. But we should not lose focus on the quality of the courses otherwise it may lead to a huge numbers of qualified doctors with no jobs. At the same time, seats in specialisation courses must be enhanced so that specialists are available in all branches of medical education.
Ravi Bhushan, Kurukshetra
It is heartening that the Centre has awakened to the sky-rocketing prices of some essential medicines used in routine, especially in the treatment of malignancies (‘Cancer drugs to get cheaper’). Certain other drugs, like zolgensma injection used in spinal muscular atrophy, are also very expensive and beyond the reach of even the rich. A single shot of this injection costs nearly Rs 16 crore. The government should offer highly expensive medicines free of cost, at least to the poor and middle-class people.
Sunil Chopra, Ludhiana
No price relief
In response to the article ‘Fuelling the oil war’, the global crude prices are down, but there is no relief for the common man. Due to geopolitical reasons, there has been a continuous drop in crude prices for months, but the government has not taken any steps to give relief to the masses. There has been no revision in retail petrol and diesel prices. The basket of crude oil that India imports averaged $88 per barrel on September 8. It averaged $102 in April before rising to $116 in June 2022. Consequent to this fall in price, and filling of the coffers of the government — at the cost of the masses — the government should share the savings with the public.
SK Khosla, Chandigarh
Another jolt for AAP
Apropos of ‘Just two months into Cabinet, leaked audio puts Sarari in fix’, it is evident that the AAP did not learn any lesson from a rap by Anna Hazare after the liquor scam surfaced in Delhi. Perhaps ministers in the Bhagwant Mann Cabinet are not sure about their continuance for long. Therefore, they are trying to make a quick buck. After the recent sacking of the state health minister, Fauja Singh Sarari is now embroiled in a controversy.
Upendra Sharma, by mail
Reference to ‘Rs 13-cr furniture scam rocks health dept, top officials under scanner’; it is unfortunate that the ghost of corruption continues to haunt the Bhagwant Mann Cabinet during its short period of existence. First, it was health minister Vijay Singla who was sacked for corruption. Now Sarari is facing charges. After the mask and sanitiser scam, this Rs 13-crore scam related to the procurement of hospital furniture has surfaced. In spite of the tall claims of clean administration, members of the Mann government are indulging in corrupt practices.
Vijaya Sharma, by mail
Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribunemail.com