THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the government moving ahead with a new health policy for the state, doctors under Kerala Government Postgraduate Medical Teachers Association (KGPMTA) have called for a comprehensive change in the state’s health sector with an active participation of Local Self Governments (LSG).
Among the suggestions KGPMTA listed for the said change are imposing a health cess on industries and other agencies that adversely affect health and environment, microcredit-linked health insurance scheme and revamping the medical education system. Moreover, in view of public spending declining steadily over the years, KGPMTA urged the government to ensure that annual health expenditure is minimum 10 percent of the state’s GDP and said public should be motivated to utilise public health amenities to the maximum and also be told to go for universalization of personal health insurance.
Pointing out that LSGs were less involved in health activities at present, it suggested that they shift focus from curative services in their localities to local health issues like control of epidemics, potable drinking water, sewerage systems and food safety.
“Centres should be established in all districts/block panchayats to train LSG personnel and citizens in healthcare issues and their management. Also, LSGs should incorporate a microfinance mechanism to ensure easy, appropriate, affordable and effective health delivery at people’s doorsteps. Microcredit-linked health insurance scheme or a community financing scheme by LSGs would be effective in saving the poor from healthcare costs,” it recommended. Activities of LSG, Kudumbasree and other self-help groups should be incorporated for coordinating health-related activities, it said, while favouring a revamp of Public Health Centres’ (PHC) functions.
“Burden of running hospitals should be shifted from the Directorate of Health Services to a new ‘Directorate of Hospitals’. Further, rehabilitative care and palliative care should be brought under PHCs,” it said.
Implementation of evidence-based protocols for managing non-communicable diseases, mandatory adherence to a state protocol (evidence-based) by all doctors, including private stakeholders, for treating common ailments, a stringent antibiotic policy for all hospitals of the state, an authority to monitor quality and ethical issues of laboratories and establishment of a well networked trauma care management system with emergency medical services were also some KGPMTA suggestions. In the medical education sector, KGPMTA stressed no new medical colleges should be started in the state, while a separate recruitment board for medical teachers should be formed.