Universal Healthcare is the need of the hour, say experts

Lack of trust in a doctor-patient relationship can lead to bad outcomes. To help address the issue of the lack of trust between doctors and patients there is a need for a better healthcare system for all. Pune Citizen Doctor Forum (PCDF), a non-profit registered society had organised a seminar on developing a system for Universal Healthcare

IMA

  • Irrespective of the economic background of the person, Universal Healthcare (UHC) would ensure that everybody gets access to quality healthcare. Members of PCDF stressed that the UHC should provide cashless quality healthcare for every person requiring it.
  • PCDF is working towards bridging the current trust deficit between patients and doctors who are trying to do ethical, rational practice.
  • Members at PCDF said that at a time when violence against doctors has increased and the lack of trust between doctors and patients. So, a need for a better healthcare system for all has become the need of the hour.
  • On Saturday, Dr Arun Gadre, Dr Anant Phadke, Dr Suhrud Sardesai and Dr Udayan Dixit participated in the seminar and shared their views related to the current health system in India and in other countries.

Speaking about the need for universal healthcare, Dr Arun Gadre from PCDF said, “Due to medical related expenditure, every year close to six crore people in India are being pushed below poverty line. Many times, patients feel cheated due to unnecessary tests, surgeries or high cost medicine which has resulted in growing trust deficit between doctors and patients.”

He added, “Also, presently the government seems more interested in bringing in corporatisation in the health sector for more jobs and more profit which would further affect patients and doctors alike. The only way to address this issue is to have a system for universal healthcare.”

Dr Anant Phadke too stated that presently the government is spending as little as 1 per cent of its GDP on healthcare whereas; it needs to spend 3 per cent to 5 per cent on healthcare. “The UPA government had pledged almost a decade back to raise public health spending to the level of 2 to3% of the GDP which has not yet happened,” said Phadke.

Dr Suhrud Sardesai who has been practicing in UK for a long time said, “England has a National Health System which ensures that all get medical treatment for free. It is funded through general taxation system. Efforts are constantly taken by the government to improve the quality of healthcare and standardise healthcare service across the country.”

“A similar system could also come up in India if people exert pressure for the same. With universal healthcare service doctors can provide the best possible treatment to patients as they are not worried about whether the treatment would be affordable to the patient or not,” said Dr Sardesai.

Dr Udayan Dixit said, “Currently in India health is not given the priority it should get which is disappointing. In many countries, healthcare is a priority topic raised during election campaigns which is not seen in India. This needs to happen.”