Today is 7th of April. ‘So what?’ – this would be the question that you would shoot out to me immediately. But there is something special that I have to say you about this day. This is a day that has been designated to spread a message or thinking or awareness about a very important aspect in our life. That important aspect has been even regarded as the highest gain in everyone’s life by Buddha through his saying ‘Arogya Parama Labha’.
Did you get the aspect that I’m talking about? Still not dude??? Then, let me tell you that. It is nothing but the one ‘Health’. An aspect, which every one of us should have to regard as the highest of all our gains or wishes in our life. So I hope you would have got to know about today’s specialty. As you guess, this is the day that has been named as ‘World Health Day’ by The United Nations public heath wing World Health Organization (WHO). Starting from the year 1948, on April 7 every year, various events around the globe mark the importance of health for a productive and happy lives. To be honest, I was also not aware of World Health day, until I read today, the special columns in the newspaper about this day.
Also, each year, this day comes up with a very particular focus point in the health care that would be one of the needs of the hour at that point of time. So, this year, World Health Day 2009 has come with the tag line ‘Save lives. Make hospitals safe in emergencies.’ As the tag line says, this year, it has been focused on the safety of the health facilities and the health workers who treat those affected by the emergencies. I would say that this is one of the most needs of the hour point. Even the developing nations are far lacking in this aspect in health care. To say more frankly, this lacking space and pace exists not only parts of health care, but as a whole of health care itself.
The tag line may look short and simple. But it travels across a larger portion of the health care sector. As the health facilities and the health workers are the ones who are more emphasized this year, the focus covers up a long catalog ranging along the health facility infrastructure, physicians, nursing people, laboratory personnel, pharmaceutical personnel, public & environmental health officers, other traditional health workers, health management, support workers and so on. Man and money has to be invested to enable all the above said workers to meet the everyday needs such as safe childbirth services, immunizations and chronic disease care not only in normal conditions, but also to continue even in emergency situations.
Our nation having been regarded as the 2nd fastest growing economy, lacks by huge numbers in the advancement of health care comparing with other developing nations. The health care system forms a very important part of the backbone of India, as we are the 2nd most populated in the globe. The average number of patient to a doctor ratio in India figures out closely to 1700:1. And the average population to bed ratio 1000:1, which is far less than the WHO recommended ratio of 300:1. There is a very urgent need for our nation to address these problems. Because this is something, that is more essential for a productive and healthy environment.
The duty of addressing these problems not only lies in the hands of the government, but also in the hands of private health managements and even in the hands of normal people like us. I am deliberate to say this, because the private sector calculates to around 82% of the whole Indian health care system. But they are in such a state to accept the fact that most of their system is build, implemented and being run with an agenda more focused on money than lives of the humans. The private sector has joined hands together to device the health care system whole under the framework of business, rather than service. I’m not saying that the private hospital should not intend to make money, because at the end of the day it is the one that matters for their existence in the highly competitive market. But I am just trying to request them not to work out their efforts only for money, which is not that much noble as that of the lives of the people.
I wish that our government should take uncompromising steps to make the public health sector equal to the private health sector. I mean the word equal in terms of facility and quality. It would actually pressurize the private sectors to shrink off their profit margin which in turn bring down the final cost to the patients. Also, as many of the poor people are dependent on the medical facilities available in the government hospitals, improving the facilities in public sector means a lot to them. It would ultimately result in an environment in which everyone will have the reach to the advanced medical facilities and treatments.
Last but not the least, what we ordinary people can do? I have not thought of this before. Many things would come, if we spend some minutes to think about what we can contribute. There are places in India, where people are not educated enough to even know that they are getting succumbed to many dreadful diseases and losing their lives daily. So we people can spread the awareness among our fellow citizens about the dreadful diseases and the preventive measures for it. We can educate them about the hygienic procedures, nutritional food and their benefits. We can educate the people on various contraceptive methods available in this modern medical systems t tackle one of the greatest challenge of increasing population.
Every development would not come out in a single day. It would goes through a series of evolutionary process to get into a good shape. Let’s do whatever we can to make this evolutionary process little quicker and little smarter. Let us not leave the hope. Let us not give it up. Let us try until we make it happen.
P.N: Friends… I’m looking out for some likeminded people, who would like to spend some of their leisure time to do something noble to our society which we live in. If you could join hands with me, we shall build up a team and work together, not just to complain about the system, but to do something to correct that. If you are interested, please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.