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 Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, is a former top diplomat who retired as India's Permanent Representative at the United Nations. In his new political avatar, as an important minister in the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Puri told INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS that
 
read-more
Aimed at consolidating cooperation between the armed forces of India and Saudi Arabia and explore new avenues of defence cooperation, Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, visited Saudi Arabia on from 4-8 February 2018, writes Anil Bhut
 
read-more
Campus placement season is here and the news is that graduates from the top campuses in India, especially the IITs, have received six figure pay packets and job offers in the US. However, looking beyond the top 200 engineering schools in India, pay packets are not looking too promising. The reason is the emergence of new engineering sc
 
read-more
Since the NDA government converted the ‘Look East’ Policy to the ‘Act East’ policy, there has been a greater sense of strategic engagement with the ASEAN, writes Gurjit Singh
 
read-more
The UN will be making contacts with Maldives leaders in response to the request by the opposition leaders for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to oversee the all-party talks proposed by that nation's President Abdulla Yameen, Guterres's Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Friday.
 
read-more
Srinivasan leaves his office in Bengaluru where the lights and air-conditioners are switched off when sensors planted inside notice that he is leaving. He is prompted on his e-watch as to how much time it would take for the elevator to arrive on his floor, based on movement-recognition, writes Rajendra Shende
 
read-more

The Indian government is undertaking a project to enhance and install infrastructures related to trade and customs along its northeastern frontier, that include trading points with Bhutan.

 
read-more

Society for Policy Studies in association with India Habitat Centre held a lecture in the “2022: The India We Seek”

 
read-more
Column-image

Title: Do We Not Bleed?: Reflections of a 21-st Century Pakistani; Author: Mehr Tarar; Publisher: Aleph Book Company; Pages: 240; Price: Rs 599

 
Column-image

From antiquity, the Muslim faith has been plagued by the portrayal of Muslim men regularly misusing this perceived “right” to divorce their wives instantly by simply uttering “talaq” thrice.

 
Column-image

'Another South Asia!' edited by Dev Nath Pathak makes a critical engagement with the questions about South Asia: What is South Asia? How can one pin down the idea of regionalism in South Asia wherein inter-state relations are often char...

 
Column-image

Book: A Time of Madness; Author: Salman Rashid; Publisher: Aleph; Price: Rs 299; Pages: 127

 
Column-image

Book: Why I Am A Hindu; Author: Shashi Tharoor; Publisher: Aleph Book Company; Pages: 302; Price: Rs 699