Stating that India's health sector is in a "dismal condition", Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said over reliance on private health sector without the availability of basic public health services would lead to exploitation of vulnerable and under-informed patients.
"The state of health care is dismal," Sen said while addressing the press conference at the 11th Kolkata Group workshop, which was organised by Pratichi (India) trust.
"We are not against private health care, but it shouldn't take the place of public health care services. Relying too much on private medical care, without the availability of public health services will allow exploitation of under-informed patients and their families, because of the asymmetric nature of healthcare knowledge," he said.
Batting for single player national health insurance, Sen said current financial allocations are inadequate.
Sen said India had a lot to learn from countries like Bangladesh, Thailand and China in health care sectors.
The statement issued by the workshop vouched for an integrated approach to healthcare with guaranteed access for all to qualified doctors trained in modern medicine.
The statement also said that health innovations in Thailand, China and Bangladesh have shown the importance of drawing women in different sectors including health.