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Monday, 12 February 2018

The Hindu Editorial : Hardly A Gamechanger

Mahendra Guru
The Hindu Editorial : Hardly A Gamechanger

Title : Hardly a gamechanger

(Neither the Budget nor the National Health Policy 2017 shows a clear health sector road map)

• The government’s target group seems to be the bottom 40% (50 crore) of the population. 

• An analysis of the National Sample Survey (NSS) for “Social Consumption in India: Health” shows that only 11.3% of the bottom 40% (10.5% covered by government insurance) population has any insurance coverage as against 17.9% for the top 60% (14.3% covered by government insurance). 

• Only 66% of the target below poverty line population has come under coverage of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), the government-run health insurance programme for the poor In 2017-18, the government allocated only ₹1,000 crore for RSBY, covering roughly 10% of the bottom 40% of the population.

• Over and above the money needed for insurance premium, adequate medical infrastructure needs to be created for the scheme to work; given that there has not been much allocation for it in the Budget. In the absence of such allocation, private health-care demand will rise, possibly leading to an increase in the cost of private health care. 

• Generally, a majority of health insurance schemes do not cover the cost of a non-hospitalised outpatient visit. For health insurance schemes, what essentially happens is that the government pays the premium to insurers which in turn pay the hospitalisation expenses.

Final Words

• If the government is serious about providing health care to even the bottom 40% of the population, it should not only increase its current budgetary allocation substantially but also strengthen the health infrastructure at all levels which includes a strong regulatory mechanism. Neither the Budget nor the National Health Policy 2017 shows any clear and convincing direction of heading in this path.

Title : States of health

• (The NITI Aayog Health Index should trigger a wider public debate)

• States with a record of investment in literacy, nutrition and primary health care have achieved high scores in NITI Aayog’s first Health Index. Kerala, Punjab, and Tamil Nadu are the best-performing large States, while Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh bring up the rear. 

• Health-care delivery is the responsibility of States; the Centre provides financial and policy support. 

The Hindu Editorial : Hardly A Gamechanger

•The Index, with all its limitations given uneven data availability, hopes to make a difference here by encouraging a competitive approach for potentially better outcomes. 

• The Index uses metrics such as institutional deliveries, systematic reporting of tuberculosis, access to drugs for people with HIV/AIDS, immunisation levels and out-of-pocket expenditure. 

• Both the Centre and the States have the responsibility to scale up their investment on health as a percentage of their budgets, to be more ambitious in interventions.


• Chief Minister = Sarbananda Sonowal 

• Governor =Jagdish Mukhi

• State Dance = Bihu, Khel gopal, Tabal Chongli

• National Parks = Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Nameri National Park, Rajiv Gandhi Orange National park, Dibru – Saikhowa National Park

• Rivers = Subhansiri, Barak, Kameng etc. 

• State Animal = One-horned rhinoceros

Title : Hardly a gamechanger & States of health

Vocabulary words:

Instance (noun) = Example (उदाहरण)

Bring down (phrasal verb) = To cause to fall (गिराना)

Neonatal (adj) = Relating to newborn children (नवजात)

Mortality (noun) = The state of being subject to death (मृत्यु-दर)

Remedial (adj) = Intended as a cure (उपचारात्मक)

Notch up (phrasal verb) = To achieve something 

Imperative (noun) = An essential or urgent thing (अनिवार्यताएं)

Rigorous (adj) = Extremely thorough and careful (कठिन)

Integrity (noun) = Honesty, uprightness (अखंडता)

Incur (verb) = Suffer, sustain (झेलना)

Abysmally (adv) = In an extremely bad way (काफी या घोर रूप से)

Meagre (adj) = Inadequate, limited (अल्प)

Proportion (noun) = Portion, amount (अनुपात)

Apathy (noun) = Indifference, lack of interest (उदासीनता)

Aggravate (verb) = Make worse or more serious (गंभीरता बढ़ाना)

Induce (verb) = Persuade, convince (प्रेरित करना)

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