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Health spend (Hindu.)

The report, “Health spending to be 2.5% of GDP” (March 17), on the National Health Policy 2017, should instead have looked at the neglect of the poor rural population and those in backward, hilly and remote regions who are deprived of basic health infrastructure and personnel. Doctors are unwilling to serve in these areas, leading to the neglect of India’s rural health care. The poor state of crowded government hospitals, their unhygienic environment, inadequate medical personnel, outdated and non-functional medical and other infrastructure reveals the virtual collapse of health care under the public sector. The high cost of health services and the high prices of essential drugs have also made health care unaffordable for the poor. Medical research on drugs and vaccines for tropical diseases is another neglected area, unattractive for multinational pharmaceutical companies due to their low profitability. Moreover, the budgetary support and encouragement for the development of affordable, indigenous, alternative systems of medicine has been inadequate.

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