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Elets Conference:”Earlier our focus was only rural areas while now the focus has been shifted to urban areas now”: Secretary, Government of Jharkhand

Nitin Madan Kulkarni

Well, we must understand that health sector presently is looking in a very transitive state. Even the government policies have very clearly defined that now we are moving from a pure health to health & wellness and that is why we have come up with the concept of health and wellness centers. No more we are having a primary health center ad community health centers but we are looking at ‘Health and Wellness,’ center.

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As soon as we use the term wellness, it broadens the perspective because health is just curative part but when you say wellness, it increases the gamut of it without limits. As a state level stakeholder in policy making and implementing the policies, we are looking at a very changing pattern of diseases. The presentation of disease is changing and so is our problems. Earlier we were looking at healthcare from a preventive aspect, as far as it was particularly more concerned about the maternal; and child health. Now we are more concerned about the non-communicable diseases. Earlier our focus was only rural areas while now the focus has been shifted to urban areas now. Most important part which most of us are neglecting is the mental health component. Nobody used to think that mental health is also equally important if not less than the curative health. And now, finding mental health professionals has become a tough challenge for the state governments as well as the central government.

In health sector, we are having acute shortage of resources; be it manpower, infrastructure or even in a technological part component. To handle this we require lots of process innovations, system innovations and more importantly we have to come out with some easy solutions where we can provide at least basic services to our citizens at the farthest point of place. Right now goal of the state is mainly to reduce what is called as ‘out of pocket expenditure.’ In India as on date almost 70% of the health expenditure is out of pocket and it is from the family revenues that the income is being generated.’ According to a study, ‘almost 7% of our population is just on the verge of poverty line only because of few catastrophic health events. Therefore, our main focus is to reduce this out of pocket expenditure.

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