India’s forgotten health crisis

A man in Uttar Pradesh is accused of having infected tens of people with HIV by reusing syringes.

Published: 09th February 2018 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th February 2018 02:34 AM   |  A+A-

A man in Uttar Pradesh is accused of having infected tens of people with HIV by reusing syringes. Meanwhile, in Telangana, a young woman was brought to a hospital with her gangrenous small intestines spilling out of her vagina after a botched abortion performed by a Rural Medical Practitioner. Both incidents are merely indicative of a largely forgotten health crisis facing rural Indians everyday.

This crisis is touched upon in the controversial National Medical Council Bill that has been staunchly opposed by doctors. The provision under fire proposes a bridge course for AYUSH practitioners which can allow them to practice allopathic medicine as well. While the opposition of doctors to this provision may indeed hold water, the problem that doctors and the government need to confront is the acute shortage of qualified medical personnel working in rural India.

A WHO guideline recommends one doctor for every 1,000 patients but in India the ratio is one doctor for every 11,000 patients. The ratio worsens for rural areas, forcing the most vulnerable of citizens to turn to quacks. There have long been proposals—implemented in certain states—that have allowed for graduates of shorter courses (in comparison to a full MBBS degree) to be trained and deployed in villages. Such programmes have reportedly gained success in other developing countries. If implemented and regulated well, programmes of those nature may help bridge some gaps in healthcare.

But the fact remains that doctors are required and vast sections of society are underserved. While doctors have chafed at rural bonds that force graduates to work in villages, they ought to invest some time and energy in proposing feasible solutions. The government also needs to increase its investments in health infrastructure in rural areas so that doctors who end up there have access to the resources that will ensure they can treat their patients as required. They also need the support, security and incentives to make rural service an opportunity rather than a sacrifice.

Stay up to date on all the latest Editorials news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

Asian Games 2018