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Health Reforms In India Essay

1583 words - 7 pages

Health Reforms in India
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Health Reforms in India
Introduction
Reforms describe positive changes that are effected in a system or practice, typically with regard to political, social or economic aspects, with a view to realizing better outcomes from the system, process or institution. Reforms in different sectors within a region or state are geared towards improving efficiency in the process. Successful implementation of reforms results in improvement in the process outcomes. For example, when a country implements reforms within its justice system, improvements could be witnessed through an easier processing and completion of cases and ...view middle of the document...

However, economic and socio-political factors interplay to hinder provisions of quality healthcare to people. For example, low income, poor government policies, corruption, illiteracy and poverty result in a situation where only a few wealthy individuals have access to quality healthcare, while the majority of the populace lives in bad health (Rao and Choudhury, 2012). This situation, which is not uncommon in a majority of the developing countries, hinders socio-economic development. As such, it is necessary for governments and non-governmental agencies to develop strategies with a view to implementing reforms in the health sector. This is one of the ways of empowering humanity since, as already implied, good health is central to human development. This has been happening in India.
Health Reforms in India
In India, the healthcare system is characterized by low levels of public spending in healthcare. According to Rao and Choudhury (2012), “between 1996-97 and 2005-06, total government spending on health was stagnant at about 1 percent of GDP, and the public expenditure elasticity with respect to GDP was at 0.94, lower than the average for low-income countries.” The result of this low level of public spending on healthcare is poor quality of healthcare services, which in turn has led to a poor health status of the Asian nation’s population. It is worth noting that the poor quality of public healthcare services has forced the wealthy class to seek medical attention in private health facilities. This implies that the poor are the most disadvantaged since they lack the economic power to make use of the usually expensive private healthcare.
In light of the foregoing, health reforms in India have been focused on increasing the amount of public funds allocated to public healthcare, improvement of the nation’s preventative healthcare and, perhaps more importantly, increasing access to quality healthcare to the poor population in the country (Government of India, 2011). To this end, several healthcare reform initiatives have been implemented by both the central and state governments.
To start with, the central government in 2005 launched the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), a program which was designed to ensure that the poor people residing in rural parts of the Asian country had access to quality healthcare (Rao and Choudhury, 2012). The comprehensive health reforms program, which covers all parts of India, was developed in acknowledgement of low public spending on public healthcare, which is worsened by the fact that its distribution is skewed. The program which included a voluntary female community health program named Accredited Social Health Activist Program, was designed to ensure that institutionalized deliveries, immunization rates, nutrition, and reproductive health care were significantly improved (Government of India, 2011; Rao and Choudhury, 2012). NRHM also focused on improving healthcare infrastructure, including building...

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