Says healthcare is poised to undergo great reforms

Like right to education, right to health is equally important, N. Murali, co-chairman of The Hindu said.

Taking part in the seventh anniversary of Thirumalai Mission Hospital (TMH), Ranipet, on Tuesday, he said, “I am sure that one day right to health will become a statutory right like right to education.”

Referring to the National Health Policy that was unveiled recently, he said, “The government spending on healthcare is supposed to be enhanced to 2.5% of GDP from a very low of 1.1% now by 2030. There is a long way to go, and only now is the government waking up,” he said.

Bridging the gap

He said that there were even talks of certifying the public institutions for their quality and taking the help of some private institutions to bridge the gap of availability of delivery of healthcare. “Healthcare is poised to undergo great reforms,” he observed.

Mr. Murali said the model of taking healthcare to the community at an affordable cost and at a quality needs to be applauded.

He said there were some fine non-corporate medical institutions such as Voluntary Health Services, Chennai, TMH, Christian Medical College, and Cancer Institute, Adyar that helped the community.

“In a country as large and diverse like India, healthcare facilities are inadequate, public hospitals and public healthcare institutes are totally inadequate in one extreme. On the other extreme, there are corporate hospitals which are doing well, and have taken over the space occupied earlier by public institutions but are found to be beyond the reach of even the middle class,” he observed.

This gap was filled by institutions such as TMH, which were founded with the altruistic motive of providing community healthcare, he said, adding that this was crucial in a country like India if millions of the population had to be elevated to the level of productive workforce.

Mr. Murali launched three new projects of the hospital – Thirumalai Mission Health and Medical Research Unit, oral cancer screening project and ‘Kavasam’, prevention of non communicable diseases (NCD) – on the occasion.

M.S. Seshadri, medical director of TMH, said they were rolling out a comprehensive NCD programme to focus on change through health education.

Bhooma Parthasarathy, trustee of Thirumalai Charity Trust, P. Shankar, retired IAS officer and director of Thirumalai Chemicals Ltd. and S. Suresh, honorary secretary of Voluntary Health Services were present.

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