India 's Priority After Independence

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The right to good health is of paramount importance not just in India but also in every corner of the world. It is sad that India, the world’s most populous democracy, can’t guarantee that to our citizens especially to the ones who fall below poverty line. On one hand, our country is fast becoming the hub for medical tourism where people from other countries flock to get good quality and affordable medical treatment. On the other most of these facilities are simply not available to the natives who should be the first preference looking at the economy of the country (Bajpai, 2014). Healthcare was never a top priority after independence. The initial focus was on agriculture, infrastructure and military. This led to social sectors like health and education being neglected. In its recent assessment of the Indian economy, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) identified India’s poor health outcomes as one of the country’s major developmental challenges. India is a laggard in health outcomes not just by OECD standards, but also by the standards of the developing world. In 2012, India witnessed 253 deaths per 100,000 persons due to communicable diseases alone, much higher than the global average of 178. India faces a higher disease burden than other emerging economies such as China, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico and Sri Lanka. Even poorer neighbors such as Nepal and Bangladesh have a better record in health compared to India (Gawande, 2012).
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