PUDUCHERRY : The President of India Pranab Mukherjee on Friday stressed the need for a holistic healthcare system which would be accessible, affordable and effective universally.
“ It (healthcare) calls for a strong infrastructure, trained and motivated personnel, and access to medicines and modern equipment”, he added.
Delivering an address on the occasion of the golden jubilee of JIPMER, Pranab said there were seven hospital beds per 10,000 people in the country, compared to 23 in Brazil, 38 in China and 97 in Russia. Also, there were seven physicians per 10,000, compared to 19 in Brazil, 15 in China and 43 in Russia.
Also, the President called for enhancing public expenditure on healthcare to ensure universal health coverage. The public funding in the country was less than one per cent of the world’s total health expenditure. “As Indians are one-sixth of the humanity, this is woefully meagre”, he said. Though schemes like the National Rural Health Mission had improved service delivery, health service still remianed constrained .
Stating that the country was a global leader in information technology, he said the power of technology has to be utilised in a meaningful way and innovative solutions have to be developed to meet the medical needs . The proficient heathcare systems in developed nations have to be studied and then a health care model be developed that would best suit the needs of the country considering its size, population and diversity, he added.
The President emphasised on healthy living from a young age. Due to the increasing lifestyle-related diseases, precautionary measures have become important. At present, seven per cent of the world’s children were obese or over-weight. . Special interventions were necessary for newborns as the first four weeks of life were crucial, during which 44 per cent of deaths of children below five years occur. Availability of life-saving medicines must be increased, he said.
Stating that health research was neglected in the country, the President expressed the need for more research which, he said, has to be a culmination of multi-disciplinary effort comprising varied fields like medical electronics, systems biolog and genomics among the others.
Also, Pranab called upon JIPMER to enrich its research-based publications, and develop models addressing common health problems by integrating Indian systems of medicine.