The Sick India Movement
India is really a vast country having the second largest population in the world and the highest number of medical colleges. It produces such a huge number of specialist doctors who are acclaimed world over and are exported. It has numerous state of the art hospitals compared to the best in the world.
Yet, this is miserable that its own citizens don’t have access to basic medical facilities. 70% of Indian population lives in rural areas. But the sad satire is that 80% of all hospital beds are urban. Millions of its ill population are constantly swinging between rural and urban hospitals in their effort to deceive their deaths. This is what we call the Sick India Movement. Other millions die in their rural anonymity, who could not afford to travel to urban areas for their treatment.
India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. But the politicians could better justify the reason for slashing of expenditure on healthcare to less than 1% of the GDP! Public hospitals look like a sea of diseases and no one to take care of the masses. Everything left at the destiny and will of the almighty.
India is a home to the 40% of the world’s poor, yet it has the most privatized health care system, which, only few elites could afford. Even those who could afford, seldom trust them because of their tendency to suck money from the sick soul with irrelevant treatments. These private hospitals had been granted land and monetary assistance on the ground that they will provide free medical treatment to the poor. But a visit at the free ward for poor patients in these hospitals is sufficient to make you clear about the mockery they are making of the government system, either befooling the government or working in connivance with the system. In September 2009, the Delhi high court fined Indraprastha Apollo hospital with Rs. 2 Lacs for not treating poor patients, as agreed while their land allotment was made. This fine amount Rs 2 lac or approximately 4000 US Dollars really bewilders one! This is the incredible India which issues a postal stamp few months later in commemoration of the foundation of Indraprastha Apollo hospital!