JAC Board Class 7 Social Science Notes Civics Chapter 2 Role of the Government in Health
→ People expect the government to work tor their welfare in a democratic country and along with the provision of education, health, employment, housing or the development of roads, electricity, etc.
→ What is Health?
- Health means our ability to remain free from illness and injuries. But health isn’t only about diseases, there are other factors as well that affect our health.
- if people get clean drinking water or a pollution free environment they are likely to be healthy. While if people do not get adequate food to eat or have to live in cramped conditions, they will be prone to illness or unhealthy.
- The various aspects of our lives which are a part of health are active positive not very anxious and without mental strain and stress.
- Good health consists of both sound mind andbody.
→ Healthcare in India:
- Healthcare facilities consists of health centres, hospitals, laboratories for testing, ambulance services, blood banks, etc., which can provide the required care and services that patients need.
- To run these facilities we need health workers, nurses, qualified doctors and other health professionals who can advice, diagnose and treat illnesses. Apart from these, we also need the medicines and equipment that are necessary and required for treating patients.
- In India there are numerous experienced doctors and nurses present. Public healthcare system is a system of hospitals and health centres run by the government. It has the ability to look after the health of a large section of its population scattered over hundreds of thousands of villages.
- Though we have most of the facilities and positive developments but then also we are not able to provide proper healthcare facilities to people.
→ Public and Private Healthcare Services:
Healthcare services .is divided into two services:
- Public Health Services
- Private Health Services
→ Public Health Services:
- A series of health centres and hospitals run by the government is known as the public health service. They are linked together because they cover both rural and urban areas and can also provide treatment to all kinds of problems from common illnesses to special services.
- Primary Health Care centres are available in villages which has a doctor and a nurse to assist and to deal with common illnesses. Such a centre covers many villages in a rural area. .
- The District Hospital at the district level, supervises all the health centres. Large cities have many government hospitals.
- For several reasons health service is called as ‘public’. To fulfil its promise and commitment of providing healthcare to all citizens, the government has established these hospitals and health centres. The resources needed to run these services are obtained from the money that we, the public, pay to the government as taxes.
- The most important function of the public health system is that it is meant to provide quality healthcare services either free cfr at a low cost so that the poor can seek treatment.
- Another important function of public health is to take action to prevent the spread of diseases such as TB, malaria, jaundice, cholera, diarrhoea, chikungunya, etc. This has to be organised by the government with the participation and support of people otherwise it is not effective.
→ Private Health Facilities:
- There is a vast range of private health facilities that exist in our country. A large number of doctors run their own private clinics and hospitals. In the rural areas, Registered Medical Practitioners (RMPs) are available. Urban areas have large number of doctors, many of them providing specialised services.
- There are many laboratories that do tests and offer special facilities such as X-ray, ultrasound, etc. There are shops as well from where we buy medicines.
- In private facilities, patients have to pay a lot of money for every service that they use but this is not the case in public health facilities.
- Now there are large companies that run hospitals and some are engaged in manufacturing and selling medicines.
→ Healthcare and Equality:
- Is adequate healthcare available to all?
- In India, we face a situation where private services are increasing but public services are not. These private services are very expensive and it is difficult for poor people to afford the expenses. Apart from this, private facilities are available in urban areas only.
- In order to earn more money and profit, these private services encourage practices which are incorrect. At times cheaper methods are available but not used.
- The fact is that approximately 20 per cent of the population can afford all the medicines that they require during an illness. Hence, even for middle class people as well, medical expenses cause hardship.
- In a study it was reported that nearly 40% of the people who are admitted in hospital had to borrow money or sell some of their possessions for their illness.
- Poor people are undernourished and tend to fall ill frequently.
- These poor families are not eating as much as they should. They are not provided basic necessities such as drinking water, adequate housing, clean surroundings, etc., and hence, are more likely to fall ill. The expenses on illness make their situation even worse and to sustain.
- Many tribal areas have few health centres and they do not run properly and even private hospitals are also not present.
- It is not only the deficiency of money that prevents people from getting proper medical treatment, it is also there lack of concerns as women’s health concerns are considered to be far less important than the health of men in the family.
→ What Can Be Done?
- It is the responsibility of the government to provide quality healthcare services to all its citizens, especially to the poor and the disadvantaged.
- Health is as much dependent on basic amenities and social conditions of the people, as it is on healthcare services.
→ The Kerala Experience:
- Kerala government gave 40% of the budget to the panchayats in 1996 to provide better environment in terms of healthcare, education, living standards, etc. to the rural peoples.
- Water supply schemes were checked, the working of schools and anganwadis was ensured and specific problems of the village were taken up to solve. Health centres were also improved. All of this helped to improve the situation. But then also, some problems such as shortage of medicines, insufficient hospital beds, not enough doctors stayed.
→ The Costa Rican Approach:
- Costa Rica is considered to be one of the healthiest countries in Central America.
- The Costa Rican government spend the money that the army would have used, on health, education and other basic needs of the people. They believed that a country has to be healthy for its development and pays a lot of attention to the health of its people.
- It provides safe drinking water, sanitation, nutrition and housing. Health education is also considered very important and knowledge about health is an essential and important part of education at all levels.