The Chairman of the Public Health Foundation of India, Dr. K.Srinath Reddy has written in The Hindu today, another piece on the parlous state of health — this time on medical education in the country. His earlier pieces in the newspaper dealt with the need for the entire Union Cabinet to function as a strong pro-health force.
Now that Dr. Manmohan Singh has undergone a coronary bypass, perhaps he will be more receptive to the concerns of public health advocates and the average citizen, and ask his Finance Minister to sharply raise the public expenditure on health, which currently stands at about 1.3 per cent of GDP (Economic Survey, 2008) or, in Dr. Srinath Reddy’s assessment, 1.1 per cent (pers communication, 2009). Indians spend out-of-pocket to meet nearly 80 per cent of their health expenditure, arguably the highest in the world.
This article in The Hindu deals primarily with health education deficiencies. A quote “Despite effective generic drugs being available, costly brand name drugs are prescribed by the young doctors whose choice is more influenced by what drug industry representatives tell them than by the consideration of a patient’s purchasing capacity”. A worthwhile read for anyone interested in the issue of health, which is engaging Barack Obama, the UK, China and India. http://bit.ly/dDgmU