India’s healthcare system needs revamping: Experts

March 25th, 2009 - 10:20 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) India’s healthcare system needs to be decentralised and revamped to cater to people in both urban and rural areas, experts said Wednesday.
“There is a need to decentralise our health system. Local bodies and panchayats, rather than the central government, should have control over government hospitals and primary healthcare centres. They should have the right to hire or fire a medical practitioner based on his performance,” said Srinath Reddy, chairman of the Public Health Foundation India.

He was speaking at the Fourth Oxford India Business Forum here.

Reddy said the country’s health system should be brought into public domain by involving NGOs, activists and local bodies.

“We need to improve our management capacity and the health system should not be doctor dependent. We should focus on task-shifting, where nurses and paramedics are trained to handle work efficiently,” Reddy maintained.

Renowned cardiologist Naresh Trehan said: “The government has been an absolute failure in providing healthcare facilities to the people of the country. Only 1.1 percent of the annual budget is spent on health.”

“We need more public private partnerships in the country to strengthen our healthcare system. We have to increase our investment in the sector to provide good facilities to people,” said Jihnu Das, a senior economist with the World Bank.

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