Focus on preventive health care to increase efficiency: Ramadoss

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New Delhi, Sep 12 (UNI) Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss today called for adopting preventive health care practices instead of curative practices to reduce absenteeism from work, reduce health expenditure and increase efficiency of the workforce.

Inaugurating the seminar on Impact of Preventive Healthcare on Indian Industry and Economy organised by Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) here, Dr Ramadoss said preventive health care had become the preferred option in most developed countries as it allowed employees to be more productive.

''However, preventive healthcare in India is still at an early stages. I think we need to confront this problem with more compassion, commitment and concentration,'' he said, adding the health Policy should be even more forthcoming on this point and take firm steps to achieve this objective.

He said the emphasis on preventive care had been on a lower priority not out of negligence but because of the burden of communicable diseases like TB, Leprosy, Vector-Borne diseases, HIV/AIDS, among others and the necessity to build up health infrastructure in the rural areas. Improvement in health status necessitates expanding energies with equal emphasis on preventive care, particularly in the case of HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases, reproductive child health, polio and disabilities occurring due to deafness and lack of vision.

On the non-communicable diseases, the government now intended to intensify its efforts in tackling diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and cancer. ''Besides, we have the National Tobacco Control Programme for which it set aside Rs. 40 crores to initiate action towards building up an appropriate strategy and institute a regulatory mechanism for effective implementation for enforcement of anti- tobacco laws.

Another initiative being taken up on a pilot basis in 25 districts across 10 States and one union territory was to prevent and control the major causes of hearing impairment and deafness.

Geriatric care has also been proposed to be addressed in the XI Plan given country's ageing population through the setting up of national institutes and promoting and encouraging basic, clinical, epidemiological and applied research.

Health Secretary Naresh Dayal, Secretary (HFW), Adviser to Union Finance Minister Parthasarathi Shome,, Director and Chief Executive, ICRIER Dr Rajiv Kumar and other senior officials of the ministry of Health and Family Welfare and members of ICRIER were also present at the meeting.

UNI

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