India at 100: The dream of a healthy nation

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    It is expected that India at 100  will be an equitable country, built on firm access to high-quality healthcare.

    About the vision 

    • Provider of healthcare personnel  to the world : India is blessed with a growing economy and a huge, young population that is relatively healthy therefore it can become a provider of healthcare personnel to the world. 
      • The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the world our capability to handle mega problems. 
    • Technology-based solutions: Most clinical, preventive and primary care will be taken over by technology-based solutions and paramedical personnel. 
    •  Equitable and the best healthcare: Education and health are foundational to every society. 
      • Indian education produces global CEOs and Indian private healthcare systems have been providing services to medical tourists from many parts of the world. 
      • India@100 will ensure equitable and the best healthcare to every citizen of the world. 
    • Availability : People will not need to spend out of pocket or travel long distances on foot to receive healthcare. 
      • Ambulatory care (care at home) will be the order of the day and point of care devices will ensure redundancy of big laboratories for medical tests.
    • Empowerment :  People will be empowered to make their own decisions. 
      • This will reduce medical litigation.
    •  Healthcare will see no geographical borders. Doctors will be friends who help people make decisions with empathy and the Indian systems of medicine will be globally lauded.
    • Multiple degrees under one roof: Engineering and science institutions are setting up medical colleges which can effectively utilise data science, computing tools and inputs from design schools to improve on innovations and bring problems from bedside to bench in a shorter time to find solutions. 
      • Thus, India @100 may provide multiple degrees under one roof.
    • Research will slowly move out of the laboratories to the bedside.
    • With good infrastructure and capacity building, India@100 will have Nobel Prize-winning scientists.

    Challenges 

    • The new challenges include climate change, the rising aspirations of people, inequitable access to resources and the biggest challenge of all is Health. 
    • India is predicted to be the capital of non-communicable diseases, cancers and deaths due to trauma. 
    • The challenges are humongous due to the huge population of 1.4 billion, juxtaposed against a relatively inadequate public health system and the deep crevice separating the haves and have-nots. 
    • Medical education today faces numerous challenges. The most critical of these are the mushrooming of medical, nursing and AYUSH colleges, and non-availability of dedicated faculty.
    • Other issues :the high infant and maternal mortality rates, a paediatric ward filled with children suffering from tuberculous meningitis, polio, severe malnutrition and diarrhoea.

    Suggestions

    • India@100 will have addressed all these woes humanely, efficiently and adequately.
    • The next 25 years will witness a big change in the health indices. 
      • For this, we need to collaborate and work together as a society and as a polity.
    •  The silos of medical education in colleges, life science research in laboratories and public health in government hospitals will need to be integrated and work in close collaboration, with appropriate linkages through the opportunities lent by NEP 2020, National Digital Health Mission and most importantly, in synchronisation with the central and state governments.
    • We can overcome existing drawbacks by using digital technology to reach the unreached students quickly and effectively. 
    • We can also align medical education to India’s healthcare needs through integrated courses and creating a bigger and better pool of paramedical and nursing personnel on priority.
    •  It is also important to absorb the trained human resources into the workforce by providing adequate compensation.
      • Clinicians will need to be trained to provide secondary and tertiary care or carry out research to aid policy changes.
    •  The aspirations of students need to be met with innovative solutions.
    •  Learning management systems (LMS) under various universities can provide equitable opportunities to students across the country. 
      • Students will have access to knowledge at their own time and pace. 
    • To realise the dream of becoming an equitable nation in health by 2047, we must reflect on how best to make primary healthcare truly functional, especially when it comes to preventing illness and high out-of-pocket expenses on health.

     

    Mains Practice Question 

    [Q] The Indian healthcare sector is growing at a brisk pace due to its strengthening coverage, services, and increasing expenditure by public as well private players.Comment