Avni Kaul, Founder, NutriActivania, 0
The word sustainability expresses various meanings like maintain, assistance and endure. The Brundtland Commission in the United Nations explained in detail that sustainable development is development that meets the requirements of the present without compromising the capability of future generations to meet their own requirement. While the economy, society, and ecology have been identified as the three major pillars of sustainability, Health is a subject which should be considered a vital contributor and a base for these three pillars, for without the presence of health, the requirements of the present or future will not be met to get sustainable development. In this time of increasing prevalence of incapacitating illnesses from communicable and non-communicable diseases, food safety matters and impending ecological threats, it might be difficult for us to attain the goal of sustainable development in India from health’s point of view.
The World Health Report for 2000 ranked India in 112th position among the 191 countries in terms of healthcare system procedures and measures, way lower than the neigh boring countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Indonesia. An important reason for this is an overburdened and disintegrated system of healthcare in our country. This healthcare system that includes private clinics, nursing homes, medical colleges, government funded hospitals, and corporate hospitals are presently being sustained in a very unplanned and unorganized manner.
Reductions in the budget on healthcare because of the fiscal constraints adds a new dimension to this worsening problem. India spends almost one percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on public health, one of the lowest in the world. The reduction is speculated to derail various ambitious programs which were supposed to be launched.
Healthcare is mostly confused with medical care. Medical care is just a part of healthcare and comes into the picture whenever there are changes from health. Healthcare is treating the reasons and not only the impact, where diseases form just the tip of an iceberg. Not only must our healthcare initiatives pay attention to giving medical care, but they must also address the social basis of health. It has been perfectly been said, a healthy society must have less illness and fewer hospitals, and our aim should be to have a healthy society and country. Thus, while spending less on health could be a utopian dream, it might be achieved by proper treatment of existing illness and working simultaneously towards preventive health.
Our country requires to devise its own set of preparatory methods for meeting the three basic goals of a healthcare system. They are keeping people healthy, treating the sick and safeguarding families against financial damage incurred from medical bills. Though presently there are schemes such as Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana that address the weaker sections of the society, the out-of-pocket model followed in India is not an adequate model of healthcare, which further burdens the citizens of this country, when compared to the various healthcare models used in the bigger nations,
There is a serious requirement to include the outlook of preventive healthcare and focus on decreasing the diseases rather than increasing the quantity of doctors and hospitals in current healthcare system outlook
Furthermore, there is a serious requirement to include the outlook of preventive healthcare and focus on decreasing the diseases rather than increasing the quantity of doctors and hospitals in current healthcare system outlook. The modern day health concerns of non-communicable diseases are mainly an offshoot of lifestyles and habits like the consumption of tobacco and alcohol, which can be more impactfully dealt with preventive healthcare policies. The recent successfully achieved milestones like the ban on Gutka (chewing tobacco) in several states. Though a ban on a harmful substance might not necessarily be synonymous with the removal of a disease, it is still an essential step towards the prevention of such disease and maybe the best kind of control.
Communicable diseases can be managed effectively through proper hygiene and sanitation measures. Tangible goals can be achieved towards these two wider aspects of health by working towards strong implementation of hand wash awareness programs and making toilets viable for each family.
Lastly, health is most adversely hit by policies made in nonhealth sectors. For the Ministry of Health, Government of India and the health ministries of all the States, to work towards reaching the goal of sustainability in healthcare, the disease prevention, and eradication policies needs population-wide interventions. This is hugely beyond the power of the Health Ministry alone and needs health in all policies method.
In terms of nutrition, the nutrition status of the most vulnerable age group of children is also a sensitive indicator of human development and the impacts of national socio-economic development strategies. The Global Nutrition Report 2015 suggests that for investment in nutrition, there is a benefit cost between 16:1 for 40 low and middle-income countries. Nutrition is key to achieve both national and global sustainable targets.