ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Health PolicySubscribe to Health Policy

The Making of ‘Local Health Traditions’ in India

The Indian government’s attention to the mainstreaming of traditional systems of medicine and the revitalisation of community-based local health traditions needs to be viewed as a part of its overall mandate of strengthening traditional systems of medicine. An analysis of existing policy documents and reviews reveals that LHTs have an eclectic policy history in India, marked by several decades of neglect by the state, with sporadic attention to the LHT practitioners as community health workers, to an upsurge of seemingly explicit, and yet somehow obtuse interest in revitalisation. Tracing the evolution (and dissolution) of these trajectories chronologically reveals that there is ambiguity and inconsistency around the rationales for the revitalisation of LHTs, potentially leading to fragmented medical pluralism.

Is NITI Aayog Even Thinking about Health?

The NITI Aayog has effectively stalled the finalisation and tabling of the National Health Policy 2015 in Parliament. The document, including the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare's report, should be revived to put forth a concrete plan for transforming the healthcare system in India.

Need for Protocols in Public Health

The deaths in Chhattisgarh during a state-sponsored family planning camp held in November 2014 show, yet again, that the lack of checklists and an ad hoc style of functioning can and does result in disaster. This article explains the need for standardisation and protocols in key government processes and talks about the pathetic conditions in which medicines and surgical supplies are procured in public hospitals as well as the failure of state agencies to detect and prohibit sale of substandard drugs.

Healthcare

This letter is in response to the article by Meeta Rajivlochan, “Improving Healthcare Services at Reduced Prices” (EPW, 3 January 2015). I am not sure if laying down standards of healthcare is practical and implementable and whether any example of the same exists in other countries. However, the...

Burden of Out-of-Pocket Health Payments in Andhra Pradesh

After the introduction of the large-scale Rajiv Aarogyasri Scheme in undivided Andhra Pradesh during 2007, which was meant to protect poor families from catastrophic inpatient health expenses, no reliable data is available to assess out-of-pocket health payments in the state. The latest data available is from the last round of a health survey by the National Sample Survey Office in 2004-05. This study estimates the OOP health expenditure in Andhra Pradesh in 2012-13, and provides estimates for the year's from 2004-05 onwards. The paper points out that the need is to formulate a state health policy, which, among other things, targets a government health expenditure to total health expenditure ratio of 0.8.

Political Accountability for Outbreaks of Communicable Diseases

The political and bureaucratic "leadership" of India's public health services and programmes, unqualified and untrained for this role, has allowed foreign and international agencies to set the country's health agenda. In the process, while massive amounts are being pumped into health programmes, the health services have deteriorated and the poor continue to suffer.

Too Little, Too Late

While the union government announced its plan to extend the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana to the unorganised working class poor like rickshaw-pullers, ragpickers, mineworkers, sanitation workers, etc, the Government of Maharashtra has decided to scrap RSBY and replace it with the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana. This article analyses the conditions of waste pickers and argues not to pit one type of healthcare against another and not to scrap schemes like the RSBY that have come anyway too late.
Back to Top