Sunday, December 4, 2011

News letter 04.12.2011

Important Notice:
Nothing without struggle
“Rail Pensioners march to New Jalpaiguri”
When to avert  ‘Mahabharat’ Lord Krishna wanted to make a compromise between Pandvas  and Kauravas with merely 5 villages under Pandava’s control and rest entire estate with Kauravas but Kaurvas replied “Can’t give a piece of land even equal to the top of needle without a war. Same situate before us today, Govt. of India is rejecting every just demand of Pensioners.
N.F. Railway  Pensioners Association invites you to IIIrd National Convention of Railway Pensioners Associations under the aegis of BHARAT PENSIONERS SAMAJ  at New Jalpaiguri (WB) On 29th March 2012
Bimalendu Chakraborty,Mob.08016135182,Tel: 0353 2592331,2562545
Postal address: Bimalendu Chakraborty,working chairman,Office of the N.F. Railway Pensioners Association; NJP Gate bazar, P.O. Bhaktinagar, (West Bengal)  Pin-734007
Note: Delegation fee Rs 150/- per person inclusive of one night stay, one Dinner  on 28th & Lunch on29th.

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Other information :
Free healthcare to all! Govt. to foot your bills
By Dinesh C. Sharma in New Delhi
RADICAL changes in the health system aimed at reducing private expenditure on healthcare, which is driving the poor to poverty, are on the cards in the 12th Five Year Plan. The overall objective of the exercise is to provide free healthcare to all citizens.
The idea of universal health coverage ( UHC) was discussed by national and international health experts at the Planning Commission in a twoday meeting which concluded on Tuesday. The issue will be discussed in the steering committee on health in the Commission, which is in the process of finalising the next plan.
The government had set up a high level expert group ( HLEG) in October last year to prepare a blueprint for UHC and spell out a strategy for its implementation.
China and Mexico are close to achieving 100 per cent universal health coverage, while Thailand has already done so.
After the employment guarantee scheme and right to education and food security Bill, UHC could be the next big social sector trump card of the ruling UPA. At present, most of the healthcare expenditure in India is “ out of pocket” or money spent by people on their own. The central and state governments together spend about 1.4 per cent of the GDP on healthcare, while the money people spend amounts to over 3 per cent of the GDP. In order to provide a minimum package of health services universally, the HLEG has recommended that the government should increase public expenditure on health from the current level to at least 2.5 per cent of the GDP by the end of the 12th plan, and to at least 3 per cent by 2022. This would result in a sharp decline in the proportion of private spending on health — from 67 per cent currently to 33 per cent by 2020.
The UHC has been defined as “ ensuring equitable access for all Indian citizens, regardless of income level, social status, gender, caste or religion, to affordable, accountable and appropriate, assured quality health services, with the government being the guarantor and enabler, although not necessarily the only provider, of health and related services”. A national health package of essential primary, secondary and selected tertiary healthcare services funded by the government has been suggested. It can have some state specific variations and will be periodically defined by experts.
No user fee would be charged for these services and no insurance companies would be involved.
“ We must be able to provide access to good healthcare without involving insurance companies or other intermediaries because independent agents fragment the nature of care being provided and this, over time, leads to high healthcare costs and lower levels of wellness,” explained Dr K . Srinath Reddy, chairman, Public Health Foundation of India and head of HLEG. Necessary steps to overcome shortage of healthcare personnel in rural areas and of essential drugs and to utilise existing private sector infrastructure have also been suggested. These include appointing two village health workers or ASHAs for a population of 1,000 people instead of one and starting a three- year Bachelor of Rural Healthcare course.
18% of all illness episodes in rural areas & 10% in urban areas get no healthcare
12% of people living in rural areas & 1% in urban areas have no access to health facility
28% of rural residents & 20% of urban residents have no funds for healthcare
Over 35% of those hospitalised are pushed below poverty line because of the expenses
Over 2.2% of population may be impoverished because of hospital expenses
India has 0.9 bed per 1,000 people ( China has 3 beds per 1000 people
80% of doctors, 75% of dispensaries and 60% of hospitals are in cities
Universal healthcare for all, funded through increase in public expenditure from 1.4% to 3% of GDP
Strengthen public services at primary health centres and district hospital level
Contract private providers ( as per need and availability) with defined deliverables
Streamline medical education, create new cadres for rural healthcare
Govt should procure all essential medicines, ensure quality control, transparent procurement and prompt payment
Set up National Health Regulatory and Development Authority and state authorities


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