Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Of Healthcare, the IPL and Politics

Decided to work from home today. Good part of the morning was spent at a nearby clinic doing some blood tests, getting and ECG and chest x-ray done. I have been having a nagging feeling in the chest area for the past few days and the family forced me to go and get this checked with a doctor. It's been a while since I got a comprehensive blood test done and I am glad in a way that this is now over. The preliminary results seem to be normal and although the cholesterol level is a little of the higher side it is not a cause for too much concern. 

I just noticed how expensive medical treatment is getting in India and although we may still be one of the cheapest in the world when it comes to medical treatment, I wonder how people that have low incomes afford healthcare. For example the bllod tests, ECG and X-Ray today along with the doctors consulting fee set me back by about 2000 INR and although this is not going to burn a hole in my pocket this month, the sum represents the monthly earnings of a majority of the people in this country and you begin to wonder what kind of treatment the poor can afford especially if it requires significant treatment.

These are all ways in which the almighty gently reminds us, of how privileged we are when compared to so many other people who share this world with us. The health care delivery mechanism in India needs to be re-looked at if the poor sections of our society are to reap the benefits. Medical college students or doctors for that matter must be asked to spend atl east 2 years in a rural area in India supporting Government sponsored health care initiatives and the only way we can enforce this is by making this a law, much on the lines of how countries require its citizens to perform military duty for a number of years. Capitalists and economists may argue about such a plan and say that there are no incentives to make this economically viable etc. Universal healthcare demands that we don't look at this from a purely cost benefit perspective but from a social angle. A healthy and disease free society is only going to add to the country's growth in the long run.

But our wonderful politicians do not seem to have time for this. They feel that their time is spent more productively in bringing up issues such as "IPLGate", the phone tapping controversy etc. And all these men call themselves educated and are believe that the people have actually chosen them to do whatever they wish to do. If so much fuss is being created about the financial irregularities in the IPL, why is there no such hungama when it comes to tackling black money sitting in the houses and Swiss Banks of politicians and their benamis? In the name of democracy we are nothing but a nation of hypocrites lead ably by the biggest hypocrites of them all - our dear politicians.

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