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5th June, 2017
Plight of doctor-owned small healthcare establishments

 Dr KK Aggarwal and Dr Rajiv Dhir

India is the 7th-largest country by area, a pluralistic, multi-lingual and multi-ethnic society and the 2nd-most populous. With a population of more than 1.2 billion people, India is home to one-sixth of the world's population occupying less than 3% of the world’s area.
 
Delivering affordable health care to India’s billion plus people presents enormous challenges and opportunities for the medical fraternity. The practice of medicine is becoming increasingly complex and time consuming. Political ideologies play a distinctive role in determining the health policies of our country. India made phenomenal economic gains in the last three decades, but has failed to improve the health status of its population on similar terms. We continue to have the distinction of having the largest number of infant deaths, maternal deaths and tuberculosis cases in the world.
 
Compared to the previous year, the Union budget for the year 2017-18 shows an increase of 23% in the allocation for healthcare. Since it accounts for just 1.3% of GDP, it shows the hollowness of this apparent increase as it is nowhere close to the proposed increase in the public health expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP in a time bound manner in the new National Health Policy released this year. Even this proposed increased is not enough. Health Budget should be 5% of the GDP.
 
India’s health sector continues to be among the countries with the lowest relative public expenditure on healthcare. Even Nepal spends a higher proportion. On the other hand, private sector facilities, largely in the specialist and super specialist segment, continue to grow and are recognized as one of the best in the world.
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Introduce a central anti-quackery law, urges IMA
Demands stringent action against those practicing without a license
 
New Delhi, 04 June 2017: The IMA has urged the government to introduce more stringent laws to clamp down on those practicing medicine without a license, particularly in the rural areas. This is yet another issue raised by the IMA, which will eventually lead up to the Dilli Chalo movement on 6th June 2017. Thousands of doctors, MBBS students, and others in the
fraternity are expected to be a part of this movement which will be followed by deliberations on some of the key issues being faced by the medical community today.
 
The demand for an anti-quack act comes in the wake of the need to plug gaps that remain in the Clinical Establishment Act.
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