THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The health sector in the country is in a massive mess and it is a cause for concern that two million children die before attaining the age of one, Union Minister of State for IT and Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam has said.
“Infant deaths in Uttar Pradesh is just one instance. Under several health parameters India is worse than sub-Saharan countries” he said after inaugurating the national medical summit organised by the IMA Trivandrum branch here on Saturday. “Even Kerala, which has several high health standards witnessed a large number of deaths owing to a non-fatal disease like chikungunya. The primary health sector in the state is in a shambles,” he said.
Recalling his personal experiences, the minister said hospitals in Kerala charge lesser amounts when compared to their counterparts in Delhi. The minister urged the medical fraternity to be compassionate to their clients and levy nominal charges. Kannanthanam said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream is to create an India where people can live with dignity. “The Union Government’s priority is not the upper crest but the commoners and the poor. Basic healthcare, housing, roads and infrastructure are the focus areas,” he said.
State Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said Kerala has become a state with low death rate, but high disease rate. “There are several issues to be addressed. The decrease in road accidents has not helped reduce the death rate as the victims do not get treatment in the golden hour,” he said. The minister said Keralites maintain personal hygiene but turn a blind eye to hygiene in public places. Waste dumping in public places and pollution of water bodies are creating the issue of contagious diseases, he said. IMA state president VG Pradeep Kumar, Dr John Panicker, Dr A Marthanda Pillai, Dr Arul Raj and Dr Jayalal addressed the function.