India has the dubious distinction of being the diabetes capital of the world, with a staggering percentage of India's populace suffering from the disease. To complicate the issue not many insurance companies traditionally covered against the disease; a fact that is happily changing.
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It is heartening to see a new push to oral health by the Union Health Ministry, and this is important for many reasons. A Nature report, quoting Indian National Cancer Registry Program, had pointed out that there has been a worrying rise in cancers of the upper aero-digestive tract (mouth, tongue, gold-pharynx, hypopharynx, larynx, and esophagus). Tobacco Survey India, in 2009-10, revealed that 35% of adults used tobacco Tobacco-related cancers are expected to constitute 30% of the total cancer burden by 2020.
Adversities hit you without a warning. Especially if they are to do with a catastrophic illness. Most people have that family member who has been diagnosed with a dreaded illness and finds it challenging to manage financially. It is surprising that to hear that almost 44% of India's population is not covered by health insurance.
Further, the average insurance cover of ? 2 lakh is grossly inadequate to cover the expenses for any large illness. In such situations, people dip into their savings or take loans or sell assets to fund treatments. As per a report by EY, 70% of healthcare spending in 2016 was out of pocket and only 2% was through private insurance, the balance of 28% being borne by the government.
The Union government's policy push for developing health and wellness centers is a well thought out step for renewing focus on comprehensive primary care. The experiences of several countries show that investing in primary healthcare leads to allocative efficiency by bringing to a range of preventive, curative, promotive and rehabilitative services closer to the people. Countries with greater primary care orientation have a lower rate of mortality and better health outcomes .
Stunting among children under five has fallen globally from 32.6% in 2000 to 22.2% in 2017, but India is home to almost a third of the world's stunted children, according to the Global Nutrition Report.
An international research group has demonstrated that multi-drug resistant or extensively drug resistant bacteria are becoming a threat to public health in India. Scientists in India and the US have found that in-hospital mortality is significantly higher among patients with multiple drug resistance (MDR) or extensively drug resistant (XDR) pathogens. They published their findings in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
The claims that Ayushman Bharat will be the one-stop solution for all the concerns of India’s low-income population does not seem to be grounded in reality. The government was looking for something positive for the campaign and it turned to Ayushman Bharat.
The scheme came in spotlight when finance minister Arun Jaitley announced in his last budget speech that Rs 5 lakh of insurance coverage would be given to more than 50 crore poor families of the country. However, the scheme failed to draw the attention of the government was looking for. Everyone from public health experts to private healthcare representatives were not enthused by the change the scheme promised.
Chronic diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, AIDs / HIV infection and Morbid obesity should be covered under medical coverage if a person contracts such ailments after buying a health insurance policy, according to recommendations of a panel set up by Irdai. The working group has also suggested a list of 17 diseases, including chronic kidney disease, Hepatitis B, Alzheimer's, epilepsy and HIV & AIDS, which could be excluded from health insurance polices
Focusing on nutrition as a trigger to TB would be a radical shift in TB control in the country. But the government's nutrition support currently focuses on treatment and not prevention.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), which was implemented from September 2018, is touted as the most ambitious scheme of the Modi government.
Irrational prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics, poor regulations around sale of antibiotics are some of the key factors driving AMR in our country. To ensure judicious use of antibiotics in healthcare facilities, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) released on November 20, Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines to advise hospitals in setting up Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes (AMSP) for the purpose.
One hundred and four million tribal people, accounting for 8.6 percent of India's population, are heavily marginalized and discriminated against. Not only are tribal communities socio-economically othered by the mainstream Indian populace, but they also face a host of structural inequalities, with access to healthcare being one of the biggest.