Vision 2020: Realising Kalam's integrated healthcare in India
New Delhi, Dec 24: India's Missile Man, former president APJ Abdul Kalam had some advice for the healthcare sector. He aspired that the entire sector to integrate itself so as to evolve a specialised healthcare system.
While addressing a gathering in Bangalore on January 10, 2010, Dr. Kalam had stressed on the need of affordable healthcare for all in India .His envision for a Developed India He had envisioned a Developed India through his India Vision 2020 document and healthcare was identified as a key focus area to achieve this vision of a Developed India.
India being a vast country with the second highest population in the world and having diverse climatic conditions. The problems of malnutrition, inadequate healthcare facilities and lack of hygiene awareness cause a wide spectrum of diseases. Mortality rate in India specifying the birth rate and death rate is tabulated below with the same of US.
"These are broadly tropical diseases, water-borne infections, infectious diseases and nutrition related disorders. There is an urgent need of unified approach to the planning of healthcare delivery in our country. The cost of drugs will have to be brought down by scientifically developing herbal formulations and validating their effectiveness through clinical database in addition to allopathic route, " Kalam had said.
"You will with your efforts can integrate technology with healthcare taking results to every corner of rural India. Similarly we can see the current status, core technological requirements and the vision2020 for the areas of service sector and electronics, IT and sensors," he emphasised.
In realising Kalam dreams, the Modi government has pushed for universal health by launching world's largest govt-funded health programme.
One of the major 'Big Bang' schemes included a major push for universal healthcare via a National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS).
Under this scheme, initially 10 crore poor and vulnerable families would be provided about Rs 5 lakh per year, to go towards medical costs.
The scheme benefited 50 crore people, which turns out to be about 40% of the Indian population, this program is being pegged as "world's largest government funded health protection scheme".
Dubbed as Ayushman Bharat, this movement towards Universal Healthcare is 17 times bigger than the current Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, and is expected to cover about 40% of the Indian population.
Can we achieve Kalam's idea of integrated healthcare? Well, we have all the resources and the political will but the government initiatives needs to be implemented and monitored properly.