This write-up is an entry for "How does Modern Healthcare touch lives?" contest by Indiblogger and Apollo
We are all familiar with the phrase "Health is Wealth" but the sad reality is and has always been "heath for those who have wealth". It is generally the wealthy who can afford to care for their health. The millions other are deprived of this right to a healthy body. We all know that owing to their sanitary conditions, the poor are also the most prone to diseases.
With the advent of capitalism, there has been a rapid but an unequal growth. A very famous line "The rich have become richer and the poor poorer" captures the miserable reality. However, this is not to deny some significant efforts that are being made to change this reality. There are efforts by the Government agencies, international agencies, NGOs and private sector like Apollo who are striving for an inclusive healthcare.
I remember the first health insurance advertisement on television where a man comes out of the hospital and is shown to be knocked down by the punch of the hospital bill. Yes, this was definitely one of the worries of the middle and lower-income families. How will they bear the exorbitant hospital bill? The health insurance, a feature of the modern health care, has been an important venture in the life of an average person. Today, it is quite common for a person to invest in a health insurance. The facility of health insurance also permits them to undergo major and expensive surgeries, without caring much about the need to immediately accumulate large sum of money. Though there are also problems with this scheme such as the tendency of doctors do try to create an abnormally expensive bill and the irrelevant tests, the benefit and the indispensability of this facility cannot be ignored.
|Free health camp organised by Apollo Hospital in Dhaka|
Modern health care and the competitive spirit that it does significantly entail has also proved beneficial to the lower-income and middle-income families in the form of the "Free health camps". It has become quite normal to have full-colour pamphlets reading "Bring this pamphlet and avail a free check-up" or "Free health camp, just for today" in the sunday paper. These free health camps seeks to accommodate any person who can afford to buy the newspaper and ensure a free medical advice. These free health camps are essential as they can identify possible signs of a disease, which we otherwise completely ignore.
One of the most significant changes has been the quota reserved for the lower-income families in private hospitals. Though the Government has tried to create a strong network of Government health care centres and clinics across the nation, it is a known fact that the real picture is dismal. How many of us would opt for them? How many of us trust them? It is not that the poor people trust them but it is just that they don't have an option. There is a lack of infrastructure, poor facilities, careless attitude of doctors and many others problems. Thus, this quota is a significant effort to ensure the lower-income families, a right to proper health care that they deserve.
|Apollo's clinic bus for DISHA|
Last but definitely not the least, hospitals like Apollo have taken individual steps to realize the humanitarian goal. Apollo is equipped with latest technology and well-qualified doctors and is one of the best known hospitals in the world. It is for this reason that it attracts medical tourists from across the world. This is a well-know and established fact. However, another equally important and commendable task undertaken by Apollo are it's humanitarian initiatives like Disha, SAHI, CURE and SACHi that seek to extend the right to the best health possibilities that Apollo provides, to the economically underprivileged sections of the society. It has tried to extend the privilege to the underprivileged even in the remote areas of the country. In doing so, it also brings out a new, positive and a humanitarian side of the role that non-governmental and private sector can do.
Thus, the modern health care seems to be trying for a more inclusive health care. Health should not only be a concern for the wealthy. It is the right of every person, irrespective of their socio-economic background. Just because someone is poor or subjected to economic violence, he/she is not entitled to suffer. Infact, it is a social responsibility of the privileged to ensure that the freedom (to live a health life) is being extended to them. This seems to be the guiding principle of the inclusive approach to modern health care. This humanitarian/egalitarian approach should be sustained. The modern health care should continue to touch lives, irrespective of any distinction.