With lifestyle changes, disease patterns have also changed. Coronary artery diseases, knee joint problems and other lifestyle ailments are on the rise. New technologies have offered remedies to many of these new diseases.
These technologies require more funding to meet the needs of our population. But unfortunately, public spending on health has not increased proportionately; instead there was a reduction in the health budget by about 20 per cent in 2015. With the government shedding its responsibility, most new healthcare facilities have emerged in the corporate sector — unaffordable to a vast majority of our population. With the paradigm shift in approach towards health from a social responsibility to purchasable commodity since the early 1990s, the race to profiteer — right from the manufacturers, middlemen, to health providers — has become an integral part of this system. It is disturbing to note that over four crore people in our country enter the below poverty line (BPL) category every year, because of out-of-pocket expenditure on health. Full Story