FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
'A healthy nation necessary for economic development'
Posted:Apr 3, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Health of the citizens and the economy of the nation they inhabit go hand in hand and every buck spent on former guarantees a manifold increase in the latter,  said noted public health expert K Srikant Reddy. The lecture 'Health and Development: India Must Bridge the Disconnect' was part of the Changing Asia lecture series organised by the India Habitat Centre and the Society for Policy Studies (SPS). 
 
Reddy,  President of Public Health Foundation of India, said at a lecture on the overall health scenario Monday evening: "Health and nutrition do accelerate economic development and (cause) greater equity and distribution of economic gains."
 
Reddy talked of the sorry performance of the country on many counts related to the well-being of its people. He pointed out India's poor rankings overall in Human Development Index and Happiness index  and attributed these to the dismal performance on the health related indicators.
 
He said that India was only second from lowest in the entire South Asia on Life expectancy, just above Pakistan,  and below even Nepal,  Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
 
"There is only 64 per cent immunization of the total population...  Which is around 90 per cent in many Sub-Saharan countries, " Reddy, who was personal physician to former Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao and is an authority of public health issues who lectures around the world. said.
 
" Even at the height of civil war there,  Sri Lanka had 90 per cent immunization, " he said adding that even Brazil and China had better indicators and we are " certainly behind our peers in BRICS group".
 
Reddy attributed India's high mother and infant mortality rate as two factors behind poor human development indices and reckoned that "30 per cent of children as underweight and undernourished.... this does not bode well for a nation which wants to reap demographic advantage of being a young nation".
 
Among the ways to battle such shortcomings,  Reddy suggested that we should treat health not as something mere "instrumental",  a means to an end,  but a thing to seek for its own sake.
 
"There is an intrinsic value of health apart from instrumental value and that health is a 'right', " he said.
 
A poor man should have just as easy access to public health system as a rich man. Reddy advised that India put in practice the concept of Universal Health Coverage (to which India is a signatory),  a target mentioned in Sustainable Development Goals of United Nations, which entails "quality medicare without causing financial hardships" to the people.
 
"Universal Health Coverage works when there is a 'risk-pooling' and cost subsidy... (meaning) rich subscribed to the poor,  healthy subscribed to the sick,  young subscribed to the old," said Reddy. 
 
"(It) requires a principle of social solidarity,  without which it cannot succeed, " he added.
 
Reddy also suggested that India strengthen its public financing system and increase the pool of revenue by overhauling the taxing system and plugging tax evasion so that more money could be allocated to public health expenditure.
 
According to a World Health Organization 2012 report quoted by Reddy, India spent 3.8 per cent of its GDP on public health expenditure,  behind of China which spent 5.4 and much behind Germany and United Kingdom which allocated 11.3 and 9.3.
 
The event was moderated by C Uday Bhaskar, Director, SPS  who drew attention to the intrinsic linkage between health and human security and the imperative for both  state and civil society to remain engaged with this abiding challenge.
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
read-more
Desperate living conditions and waterborne diseases are threatening more than 320,000 Rohingya refugee children who have fled to southern Bangladesh since late August, including some 10,000 who crossed from Myanmar over the past few days, UNICEF said.
 
read-more
A unique and passionate gathering of acrophiles, or mountain lovers, took place in neat and picturesque Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram state in north-eastern India in September.
 
read-more
India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
read-more
With over 100 incidents of braid chopping reported in different parts of Kashmir, there is widespread fear and anger among the people.
 
read-more
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's GDP expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2017, an increase of 0.2 percent above that of the corresponding period of last year.
 
read-more
As political roller coasters go, there is none as steep and unpredictable as the one shared by the United States and Iran.
 
read-more
In West Asia, the end of one war paves the way for the next. Raqqa, the Syrian capital of the self-styled Islamic State (IS), has fallen to a coalition of rebels, the Syrian Democratic Forces that is backed by the United States.
 
read-more
On “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive