Topic outline

    • Role of the Government in Health

      Q28. What the court said in Hakim Sheik’s case?

      Ans. The Court said that the difficulty that Hakim Sheik had to face could have cost him his life. If a hospital cannot provide timely medical treatment to a person, it means that this protection of life is not being given. The Court also said that it was the duty of the government to provide the necessary health services, including treatment in emergency situations. Hospitals and medical staff must fulfil their duty of providing the necessary treatment. Hakim Sheik was denied treatment at various government hospitals. Therefore, the Court asked the State Government to give him the money that he had spent on his treatment.


      Q29. What were the major changes made by Kerala government in 1996?

      Ans. Major changes made by Kerala government in 1996 were:

                             i.        Forty per cent of the entire state budget was given to panchayats. They could plan and provide for their requirements.

                            ii.        This made it possible for a village to make sure that proper planning was done for water, food, women’s development and education.

                           iii.        This meant that water supply schemes were checked, the working of schools and anganwadis was ensured and specific problems of the village were taken up.

                           iv.        Health centres were also improved.

      Q30. Is adequate healthcare available to all?

      Ans. No, adequate healthcare is not available to all. In India, we face a situation where private services are increasing but public services are not. So, mainly private services are available and that too are concentrated in urban areas. As these services are expensive, many people cannot afford them or have to borrow money when there is an illness in the family. Women are not taken to a doctor in a prompt manner as women’s health concerns are considered to be less important than the health of men in the family. Many tribal areas have few health centres and they do not run properly. Even private health services are not available.


      Q31. What is health?

      Ans. We can think of health in many ways. Health means our ability to remain free of illness and injuries. But health isn’t only about disease. Apart from disease, we need to think of other factors that affect our health. For example, if people get clean drinking water or a pollution free environment they are likely to be healthy. On the other hand, if people do not get adequate food to eat or have to live in cramped conditions, they will be prone to illness. All of us would like to be active and in good spirits in whatever we may be doing. It isn’t healthy to be dull, inactive, anxious or scared for long stretches of time. We all need to be without mental strain. All of these various aspects of our lives are a part of health.

      Q32. What are the positive aspects of healthcare in India?

      Ans. Positive aspects of healthcare in India are:

                             i.        India has the largest number of medical colleges in the world and is among the largest producers of doctors.

                            ii.        Healthcare facilities have grown substantially over the years. In 1991, there were 11,174 hospitals. In 2000, the number grew to 18,218.

                           iii.        India gets a large number of medical tourists from many countries. They come for treatment in some of the hospitals in India that compare with the best in the world.

                           iv.        India is the fourth largest producer of medicines in the world and is also a large exporter of medicines.


      Q33. What are the negative aspects of healthcare in India?

      Ans. Negative aspects of healthcare in India are:

                             i.        Most doctors settle in urban areas. People in rural areas have to travel long distances to reach a doctor. The number of doctors with respect to the population is much less in rural areas.

                             ii.        About five lakh people die from tuberculosis every year. This number is almost unchanged since Independence!

                            iii.        Almost two million cases of malaria are reported every year and this number isn’t decreasing.

                            iv.        Clean drinking water is not available to all.

                            v.        Half of all children in India do not get adequate food to eat and are undernourished.

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