Public health, hospitals & dispensaries comes under State List as stated in the 7thschedule of Indian Constitution. This sector which was of such less concern until now, got so spotlightedwhen the whole country got depended on it as their end resort.
We know that the more than 50% of the healthcare sector was not in appreciable position in India. This pandemic which no one thought of spotlighted the collapse of it Infront of the whole population and still continues as the country faces the deadly second wave. But was our healthcare system good enough before the pandemic? Let’s have a look, especially focusing in the Rural India.
India which is the 6th largest economy in the world is still a developing nation. It needs a large no.of reforms and developments in some major areas, one of which is Healthcare sector. With the population of 135 crores; 90 crores live in the rural and semi-urban area and 45 crores live in the urban area.
Let’s start with talking about the medical infrastructure in India. Looking at someof the famous cities such as New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai, these cities themselves contribute to maximum amount of medical tourism in India.
Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad has major multi-speciality hospitals in the country in the city health-infrastructure data.
Let’s get into the rural India now. Instead of focusing on govt. data, we’ll talk about the ground reality of the rural India. The state with highest population has in the country has the worst rating in in the health-care sector in which the conditions of some villages are beyond imagination. State govt. have a critical role in developing the healthcare sector in their territories. In the past few years with great & prosperous visions, several reforms have been made, but majority of them failed and resulted in inefficiency due to absence of typical ground work required. Let’s have a look at some of the villages near the national capital of the country.
Luhalrli village that falls under the Gautam Buddh District, Uttar Pradesh. This village got its Primary Health Care Centre recognised as “Praathamik Svaasthy Kendra” (PSK)by the central and the state govts in the year 1995. As ground report says it has been closed within 30 days after its opening in the year 1995. Villagers living there have distributed its rooms and compartments within themselves and it is being used as storage for their straws, cow dungs and hay since the last 15 years. None of the doctors, officers, medical staffs, commissioners appointed for management have visited it and thought of bringing a change since it shut down. The people of that village have to go 10-12 kms of worst roads towards Dadri village (another town under Gautam Buddh Municipality) for even a simple fever check-upor some minor health issue. Let’s talk about another PSK institute set up by the govt. in Khandera Girirajpur (under the same municipality). Svaasthy Kendra here was set up back in 2014 with the capacity of admitting 50 patients at the same time. Out of the no. of doctors appointed there by the govt., till date only 2 of them visit the centre once in a few days. They occupy a maximum of 2 rooms of the building and the rest of the building stands abandoned till date. Rurals living here also visit the 12 km nearest centre at Dadri town in order to get a health check-up or at times of emergency. Even the time of pandemic couldn’t change such scenarios and this has left people dying in the villages and govt hiding their ground reality facts. This was just a reality of 2 villages in the entire state. We never know the exact details of what is actually happening in the country.
So now the question arises, how is all of this being continued for such a long time and no authority takes any action about it.
The answer to this question here is that doctors who are appointed here, after receiving a handful amount of salary, start their own clinic in their locality or city wherever they live. This is because of many reasons such as poor living and working conditions, irregular drug supply, weak infrastructure, professional isolation and the burden of administrative work. The other staffs working here therefore shift from these places and come back to work in the cities with their colleagues. When the police official have to carry an investigation regarding the matter, they are easily convinced and bribed and this process goes on until a newly appointed officer comes and who really wants and tries a change. Other reasons include lack of knowledge among villagers themselves that how are they being exploited within the hands of some private individuals, politicians and people’s representatives.
What is the solution for this? To find the solution one needs to understand one basic thing:that its their money which is being misused for mere profits and comfort of people. Govt. is collecting hefty amount of taxes from each and every thing ranging from Parle-G biscuits to capital taxes from buying major properties. People living in the villages are exempted from many types of taxes, and even provided subsidies.So, unless and until these things are not taken seriously by the person whose money is actually used whether directly or indireclty, there are not going to be any changes seen because the population that is directly affected doesn’t know the lies told and also, they have adapted to such things for a long time now.
We who have the power to change can’t go and held officials liable for this and come up with protests asthey are just of no use. To all those who are reading this, we all can actually bring a change by just minimum efforts. We are already used to habit using of internet/social media more than our sleep and other important works. All we need to do is take a picture of the infrastructure, interview 1-2 people of that locality with some basic question and post it in our social media. If we can make a man, a social media star overnight such as “Baba ka Dhaba” (viral video of Delhi in 2020)can’t we just share the ground reality that disturbs us with the IAS officers, other administration and keep sharing until thigs actually change. Not everyone govt. official is corrupt. Some actually want to see a change in every field. Once its on the screen of every single person, then till how long will the reality hide from people. Such things will bring shame on the people who are representatives of that respective areas and will force them to bring a change because nobody wantsan enquiry from the top-most govt agencies nor any kind of public criticism.
A simple change in attitude from “That’s not my concern” to “This my money, therefore my responsibility” can do wonders overnight. We can actually say this because it’s not only “Baba ka Dhaba” incident but there are so many examples that have made a simple common man, a social media star and they have received help from all around India. Things can change once we change our mindset.
Authored by Shankh Shukla
Student, NMIMS Bangalore
 Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1012239/india-population-by-region/(2nd June 2021)