British Medical Journal Lancet Slams Government for Ignoring Public Health

NDTV Food  |  Updated: July 13, 2017 12:42 IST

British Medical Journal Lancet Slams Government for Ignoring Public Health
One of the most respected medical journals in the world, 'The Lancet', has criticized the Indian government for ignoring the health sector in the country and warned about the risks that the country may face in future if public health is given less priority. 

According to a report, the next edition of the journal which is to be published on December 11, will take on the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allocating sufficient funds for investment in the health sector and for failing to keep up with his poll promise of rolling out universal health coverage. The paper will be written by renowned experts from across the globe. 

In an interview with a leading daily, the Editor-in-Chief of Lancet, Richard Horton expressed that since Mr. Mod's arrival at the centre he hasn't seen any new policies or any sort of financial commitment to the health sector. He further indicated that health has been completely pushed out of the government's agenda and warned that if this remains to be the case it could become a matter of national security with the rising epidemics and outbreaks. 

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He urges the government to tackle the challenges faced in ensuring a healthy population and especially in combating non-communicable diseases like diabetes and heart disease and reduce maternal and child health. In the paper, they plan to talk about healthy financing an service delivery and focus on the following areas of concern - 

1. More investment in the public health system and balance it with the growth of an unregulated private sector
2. Rolling out universal health coverage (UHC). This refers to a health care system which provides health care and financial protection to all citizens.
3. Reducing rates of child and maternal mortality
4. Addressing the epidemic of non-communicable diseases

CommentsHe suggests that the government should have health as a central political objective and work towards increasing percentage of GDP spent on public health system along with taking full responsibility of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC), 

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