Thanks to lack of government participation, involvement and control, health sector has practically been hijacked from the domain of lower and middle class by the private players. Sky rocketing cost of medicines has forced 68 per cent of Indian citizens to live without access to medicines. Protection of life is our fundamental right which is enshrined in the Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Moreover, Article 47 says, “The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties”.
Unfortunately, such primary duties have not been discharged by our governments since independence. According to Global Hunger Index 2016, 1 in 3 children in India is facing stunted growth, 15 per cent of our population undernourished from lack of food and 194.6 million Indians go hungry every day.
Health for all still remains a distant dream. It is a pity that life saving treatments are linked with the capacity of our credit cards. As a result, majority of our population are forced to learn the art of dying without having medicines and treatments. Government hospitals need to outnumber private ones to give the latter a run for their money and to translate the Article 21 and Article 47 of the constitution of India into action. In addition, medicines should be made affordable by controlling their profit margin.
Sujit De, Kolkata