Reduce disparity in rural-urban divide in public health: Shekawat

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Jaipur, Feb 14(UNI) Former Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekawat emphasised the need for reducing the wide spread disparites in health standards and the rural-urban divide in health infrastructure in the country.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Eigth National Conference and workshop on Minimal Access Surgery here today he said though the country's achievments in health were certainly a story of great success, the levels of improvements should have been a lot better.

He said the Supreme Court had pronounced the 'right to live with dignity' is a fundamental right of every cittizen as enshrined in the Constituion. The poor have to be enabled with access in real terms to basic services, especially health care and medical services. ''Any development plan would have susbtantive meaning only if it is inclusive of comprehensive programes which provides basic amenities to the poor and the deprived'' added the Former Vice Presdient.

He said the mortality levels in the country were still high. In India each year five lakh people die due to Tuberculosis out of 20 lakh infected, 10 lakh malaria cases were reported every year causing death to nearly one thousand people, about 20 lakh people were living with HIV/AIDS and nearly six lakh people die of cancer. The cardio vascular diseases and diabetes have assumed the proportion of a silent epedemic. He said the existing public health infrastructure and facilites are inadequate to cope with ever growing demand.

He emphassied the need to ''harness the resources of the private sector and the civil society to complement the governemnts efforts and to meet the ever expanding demand for medical care''.

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