For good health, two things are essential, which are balanced and nutritional diet and medical care. The level of health standard in India is quite low. There has been a big change in the approach towards health services since the 6th plan. Under the new approach, the focus is not on providing hospitals, but on providing better health and medical care services to poor people.
Efforts to combat health problems
- A community based programme on health care and medical services in rural areas was launched
- Apart from developing rural health services, the control of communicable diseases is now being given the highest priority
- Since diseases like T.B., malaria, gastrointestinal infections are related with unhygienic sanitation, efforts have been intensified in providing hygienic conditions, opening new hospitals and strengthening existing hospitals, especially in rural areas.
There has been a significant fall in the incidence of certain diseases like T.B., leprosy and polio as a result of the efforts taken by the government for the betterment in this sector. But simultaneously there has been a rise in the incidence of certain diseases like AIDS, blindness, cancer etc. has also been noticed. By the end of 2011, there are 1,76,820 health centers, 38,832 dispensaries and hospitals and 9,22,177 doctors. National Rural Health Mission was started in 2005 to provide accessible affordable and quality health services to rural areas. Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) have been selected and trained in health care for various villages. Janani Suraksha Yojana was started to bring down maternal mortality rate in India and under the scheme the number of beneficiaries has increased from 90 lakh in 2008-09 to nearly 109 lakh in 2011-12. Pradhan Manti Swasthiya Yojana has been launched with the objective of correcting regional imbalances in the availability of reliable health care services in the country. Janani Shishu Karyakaram is the new initiative launched in 2011 for mother and child care. Under the programme, free entitlements are given to pregnant women and sick new borns for cashless delivery, drugs and consumables, diet etc.,
Weaknesses of Indian health care
- Unequal distribution of existing health institutions and manpower
- Mismatch between personnel and infrastructure
- Lack of an appropriate referral system