The editorial, "A sick system" (July 21) rightly insists on an expansion of the public health care system. Over the last two decades we have criticised the issue of government presence in health care. The poor quality of government-run health care outfits has been used as an excuse to allow unbridled growth of private heath care services. The private health care system is aimed at the rich. While the government-run health care services have been abused to allow the entry of the private sector, few have spared a thought for the poor. The cost of treatment has become prohibitive.
We don't seem to understand that taking care of the health of the people is the best investment for a country. Whatever be the policy of the government or the model it adopts, it has to be in the direction of providing better health care to its citizens, especially maternal health and the health of small children.
The next thing India should concentrate on is eradicating communicable diseases. India's biggest achievement is eradication of polio. The cost of sanitation, which helps reduce malaria, cholera etc, is low compared to the ravages of these diseases. Unlike China, India is a young country. If we aspire to attain sustainable growth and not high, short-term growth, the government needs to invest in health and education. Sustainable growth happens only when we have healthy people.
Letters can be mailed, faxed or e-mailed to:
The Editor, Business Standard
Nehru House, 4 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
New Delhi 110 002
Fax: (011) 23720201
All letters must have a postal address and telephone number