Democratization of primary healthcare is indispensable for fulfilling the objectives of equitable and comprehensive care in India. Discuss.

India spends around 0.5% of its GDP on healthcare, with a minuscule share of this going to primary healthcare. Democratization of primary healthcare includes greater roles for local bodies in healthcare at local levels and also greater accessibility for people.

Democratization needed for equitable care in India:

  • Local bodies with power would invest more in medical infrastructure. E.g- Panchayats could increase PHC efficiency.
  • Ensure access to cheap healthcare to economically deprived classes.
  • Free primary healthcare to help reduce infant mortality rates and maternal mortality rates in rural areas.
  • Reduce out-of-pocket expenditure by people.

Democratization ensures comprehensive care:

  • Ensures diagnostic facilities for early detection of diseases.
  • Ensure primary treatment for the disease to prevent complications.
  • Monitor women, and newborns for problems, advise on nutrition and conduct monthly checkups on a regular basis.
  • Easy immunization under Indradhanush mission to prevent diseases.

Way forward

Increasing investment in healthcare. More number of beds, and doctors at PHCs and CHCs. Basic medical training to ASHA’s ANMs as front responders. Primary healthcare needs to be strengthened to achieve sustainable development  goals-3.

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