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October 15, 2012 Better medical services … just a vote away!

Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee leaders today, announcing fifth point under their “Gujarat Praja Vikas Darshan-2012” program, which concerns to health of people of Gujarat, stated that instead of taking care of general health of people of Gujarat, the present B.J.P. Government has taken enough care of treasury of millionaires and has made worse condition of Government Hospitals of general health of common people. If Congress party is voted to power, it will constitute Gujarat Medical Service Corporation (GMSC) as an autonomous body and will ensure availability of life saving drugs at free of cost and will make available the medicines in generic form at every hospitals. Treatment of diseases like cancer, heart problems, kidney problems which has become very expensive, will be provided to the middle class people at free of cost and at negligible charges. Health Insurance Scheme will be introduced for middle class people with public private partnership model and premium for insurance cover upto Rs.30,000/­shall be borne by the State Government and for additional insurance cover, it will resort to public partnership.

Government hospitals are in dilapidated conditions. Posts of doctors or nursing staff in village Community Health Centers and Primary Health Centers are vacant. Earlier, when Congress was in power, all treatment was being provided free of any charge at those Health Centers whereas the present B.J.P. government has made all health-related services dearer. Only BPL families are being provided treatment without any charge with the aid of Government of India whereas patients of cancer, heart problems and kidney problems are being issued bills for one lakh-two lakh of rupees. There are several instance of death which resulted due to lack of money for treatment.

If the Congress is voted to power, like in Rajasthan, it will also follow Rajasthan’s Congress Government and constitute Gujarat Medical Service Corporation (GMSC). In Gujarat, drugs are 15 time costly due to purchase of branded medicines for benefit of drug manufacturers. If those medicines are purchased in generic form, the medicine costing Rs.30,000 can be procured for just Rs.3000/-. The ensuing Congress Government will open stores for generic medicines at all Government hospitals and dispensaries. Due to this arrangement, standard quality medicines will be available and it would cut expenditure on treatment upto 70%. The survey conducted by National Sample Survey Organization revealed that after this arrangement of generic medicines, the medicines of same quality which was priced at Rs. 3,187 could be made available at only Rs. 255 in Rajasthan. Moreover, about 250 essential drugs as suggested by the World Health Organization would be made available free of cost. Civil Hospitals, Primary and Community Health Centers of the State will be modernized and doctors and para-medical staff will be recruited with full wages.

At present, storage and testing of blood at Government Hospitals are being carried out through traditional methods as a result of which, health of poor and middle class patients jeopardized. Recently, about 24 child patients of thalassemia were infused HIV infected blood which was tested through old technique. This blood was found to be HIV positive later on. This caused embarrassing situation for entire Gujarat. The lives of innocent children were endangered. According to present technology, blood is being passed through serological test and result of such test can be obtained after 17 to 60 days which is considered to be a very long window period. This technique would be replaced with Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) which is DNA test of blood directly and this would ensure safety of every citizen of the State so far as all issues concerning blood infection is concerned due to making available this world class test.

All efforts would be made towards direction of ensuring that “Prevention is better than cure”. For this purpose, Yoga, gym and naturopathy would be given priority. Yoga centres, gymnasiums and naturopathy centres would be opened at parks and public places. Alternate therapy systems like Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Unani would be strengthened.

Health of treasury of capitalists have improved thousand times more during the last 17 years Bhartiya Janta Party rule, however, health of the people of Gujarat has worsened badly. So far as expectancy of life is concerned, Gujarat is ranked at 8th in entire country with expected life of 64 years in Gujarat. States like West Bengal, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are leading in this chart. Kerala is at top with 74 years expected life. So far as infant death ratio is concerned, Gujarat is at 7th rank with 50 deaths of infants per thousand in 0-1 age group whereas said figure is 12 in Kerala, 31 in Tamilnadu, 33 in Maharashtra, 35 in West Bengal, 41 in Punjab and 45 infant deaths per thousand is recorded in Karnataka. In case of death of delivering mothers, Gujarat is at 8th rank with rate of death of 14.8 per 10,000 deliveries. In case of birth rate, Gujarat is the 9th ranked most population increasing State with 22.6 birth per thousand population. In birth rate of girl child, with increase of just 3 girl child birth rate during last 10 years, Gujarat is the tail ender State ranked at 8th. In Gujarat, there were 883 girls as against 1000 boys in 2001, against which the birth recorded of girls were 886 in 2011. Thus, during last ten years, just 3 girl child birth could be increased compared to which, the States like Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Tamilnadu could increase the number of girl child birth by 48, 11, 10, 4, respectively.

About 55.3% women of the State are suffering from anemia hence Gujarat has been ranked at 17th in the list of States so far as health of women in the State is concerned. Though Government of India generously grant millions of rupees for health of children and women, Gujarat has been ranked to 13th with rate of institutional deliveries with 56.5% and is at 14th rank so far as safe deliveries are concerned with 62.1%. About 23.50% children of the State are victim of malnutrition and 45% children are with weight less than average. Human health in the State is worrisome.

Gujarat has remained at the end of chart so far as per capita expenditure on health is concerned, which is at Rs.270/- per person whereas said rate is Rs.1611 in Mizoram, Rs.1446 in Sikkim, Rs.1149 in Goa, Rs.884 in Himachal Pradesh, Rs.471 in Assam, Rs.454 in Kerala, Rs.328 in Jharkhand, Rs.293 in Uttar Pradesh. The Modi Government which has been very generous in draining exchequer with grant of Rs.33,000 crores to Tata and Rs.9100 crores to Essar, has no money to even spend Rs.500-1000 per person on their health. If Congress is voted to power, additional budget will be allocated on Health so as to meet with national norms for per capita expenditure on health.

Had the Bhartiya Janta Party Government paid little attention towards health of our children, our mothers or common people, our brothers-sisters or children would not have been put into such a shameful condition as they are facing today.

P.S: Pressnote (Gujarati) attached.

Press Note Fifth Point declaration

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