The health sector agenda will include pooling of resources, primary care, promoting economy hospitals in public and PPP sectors, health information sources, health laws and regulation, promoting AYUSH, control of important diseases, Health Human Resources (HHR), rational use of drugs and technology, healthy demographic change and a better role for states and local governments.
About 60% of basic specialist positions in rural hospitals are vacant, negating the quality concerns in referral care. We failed to get enough doctors even in urban public hospitals that are already scant. This is due to gaps in training infrastructure, poor working conditions and employment terms. It is time to end the chronic neglect of AYUSH and paramedic HHR. About 7 lakh ASHAs get below Rs 1000 a month. No UHC is possible without good HHR management.
The first is taking primary care deeper in rural and urban units. Trained paramedics can handle some 50 common health problems. Through this we can upgrade ASHAs, informal providers and create a million jobs. The ambulance network is a good development, and we need paramedics here too. AYUSH doctors can manage the existing subcenters.
Indian systems of medicine and Homeopathy (AYUSH) have great internal worth and cost advantages. AYUSH doctors can manage all health subcenters after a bridge course in modern public health. This will meet’ primary care needs, deploy existing HR, avoid interpathy conflict and harness valuable national resources, besides ensuring that Indian health system remains pluralist. [Source]
Dr Shyam Ashtekar (MD)
The author worked as a former Director of the School of Health Sciences in Maharashtra Open University