Off track progress of health sector

Published at January 07, 2019 12:19 AM 0Comment(s)4566views

Off track progress of health sector

Altaf Hussain Haji

Health is one of the sector which play an important role in development processes not only state or national level but also at international level in terms of sustainable development goals.

The sustainable development goals for health is “Good health and Wellbeing” which is recommended by all member country of United Nations during Sustainable development conference.

The third goal of sustainable development is to ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being at all ages is essential with the targets to be achieved by 2030.  The following few important targets for health are as under:

  • By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births
  • By 2030, end preventable deaths of new borns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births
  • By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases
  • By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being
  • Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol
  • Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all
  • By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination
  • Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries
  • Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks

In India, the access to health care is well recognized as a basic right of the people. The right to protection of life and personal liberty is enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India which includes the right to live with human dignity and all that goes along with it, namely, the bare necessities of life.

It provides that the State shall make every effort to safeguard and promote health of the people and ensure widespread and efficient medical services throughout the State. The State Government has been providing the necessary policy frame work, institutions and resources in the shape of finances, personnel, drugs and equipment for the delivery of public health care services in the State.

Over the years, there has been a remarkable expansion of health institutions in the Government sector with priority has been given to development of health infrastructure.

A large number of personnel also have been and are being engaged in terms of employment with the aim to promote health sector for good health and wellbeing. 

The State Jammu and Kashmir have done a lot of work for promoting health sector in many terms.  Considerable volume of equipment is being procured annually by state Jammu and Kashmir. The Free medicines are being provided to the population as per availability. There also has been a considerable expansion of the referral transport system.

At present, there is availability of a variety of specialized and super specialty services in various disciplines within the State. The result of this have been seen through the health indicators in the State Jammu and Kashmir.

As per Millennium development goals report of India, 2015, it was observed that state Jammu and Kashmir is lagging behind in order to achieve minimum targets.

There are many reasons behind slow or off-track progress of state Jammu and Kashmir. One of the reason is   selection of drugs. The single most vital component of health care is drugs as they account for substantial part of household expenditure on health. The market for drugs has been growing rapidly in terms of production, trade, investment, employment and consumption.

The industry is characterized by various features like growth of irrational drug combinations and highly priced branded drugs which wastes a lot of patients’ money. The department of health must to procure good quality drugs and ensure timely supply also has scope for improvement. Irrational use of drugs leads to serious problems through adverse drug reactions, drug resistance, increased morbidity and high cost.

The Drug & Food Control Organization also has constraints of capacity in ensuring the required quality standards of the drugs under the provisions of law. Although the intention of the government is to promote equitable, affordable and quality health care, there is a need to provide a clear guide for action.

Keeping in view the importance of drugs in the healthcare services, a state specific drug policy in the State of Jammu and Kashmir is required not only to reiterate the commitment of the government to the goal of improved health care services but also to provide clear priorities and strategies. The drug policy is envisaged to prioritize and express the goals and identify the main strategies for achieving them.

The state’s Department of Health and Medical Education is trying to aim at bringing about dramatic improvement in the health system and the Health status of people especially those living in rural areas of the country but all in vain.

It does not seek to provide access to equitable, affordable and quality health care, Reduction of Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternity Mortality Rate (MMR), population stabilization and gender and demographic balance which in turn showed Slow or off-track progress.

The decentralized planning and implementation, strengthening of physical infrastructure and ensuring fully functional facilities at the doorsteps of the people not withstanding odds of topography and situational constraints as there are health institution without facilities such as doctors and other supporting staff.

The doctors and supporting staff in rural areas are not willing to work in such health institution without facilities. The egoism and own interests of doctors and supporting staff did not will to work in rural areas which also results the progress of health sector Slow or off-track.

I have tried to search various answers of Slow or off-track of health sector of Jammu and Kashmir by interacting experience and important doctors on different occasions in conferences, seminars, personal treatments and family treatments last two years.

One of doctor of my friends said the department of health sectors is not recognising the outstanding performances and rewards internally which results that doctors to left either job or move outside for doing private particle for gaining honour.

The doctors have no respect in health intuitions even there is facilities and trying to gain at private practices in clinics. The supporting staff of doctors in health institutions did not cooperate at that time which is required for delivering good or emergency services to the public. 

The doctors and supporting staff ignores the system of setup of health sector due to week rules and regulations. There is high corruption in the health sector in Jammu and Kashmir in terms purchasing and misuses of various medicines of government controlled.

The medicines which is for government uses only and is being sold in markets without any checks and inspections. These medicines are also available at private clines and is being sold at high casts. This is results the health sector of Jammu and Kashmir slow and off track progress.

 It is to mention here that the patients dislike to treat in government institutions due to the lack of facilities, cleanness, wrong and delay in treatment by doctors and supporting staff, mismanagement, misuse of manpower and corruption.

The same is being observed in private clines which have better facilities and better treatment with high cast. The better treatment and facilities in private health sector is due to high moral corruption which is very difficult to eradicate and control.

I want to mention here that I have some interaction with attenders of the patients in leading government hospitals of state Jammu and Kashmir who told different stories of health sectors facilities and treatment.

The lack of monitoring of the health sector at different level is one of the reasons of the slow and off track progress. There are so many schemes and policies of health sector of government and non-government organisation in our state which are either not implemented properly and implemented without supervision and monitoring.

There is also ignoring of study and research of doctors of various diseases and treatment which also effects the progress of the health sector in state Jammu and Kashmir. 

In many private clines, we see doctor were able to collected the data from patients but the data is useless and wastage of time due to lack of research and guidance. This also effects the quality and development of health sector. The main purpose of the data is research and development of the health sector. Further data is for better life and health if used.

The lack of latest capacity building of doctors in Jammu and Kashmir is also one of the reasons of slow and off track progress. The doctors and supporting staff of health sector of Jammu and Kashmir also did not like to come out from comfort zone to learn new thing for health sector.

The only thing they know how to make money and enjoy the time in entertainment and other waste infrastructures. Doctors did not bother about the improvement and research of the health sector as they are backbone to improve the sector easily and our heath will be not slow and off track progress.

Author is Director, National Sample Survey Office (Field Operations Division) Regional office, Srinagar




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