HCFI Recommendations for the Union Budget

“The concept of one health programs should be implemented to ensure overall health and wellness”

New Delhi, January 22,2018: It has been scientifically proven that about 75% of emerging human infectious diseases in the past three decades have originated in animals and due to poor environmental health brought on by contamination, pollution, and degradation of air, water, and land etc. Such disturbances that foment cross-species infectious disease transmission, as well as non-infectious diseases spread across entire populations of humans and animals.

In most nations world over, inter-sectoral coordination has been established by the concerned governments, to consult with each other, share their knowledge, and provide effective and efficient means to control emergence of such diseases as per protocols set by the World Health Organization under their one health programme.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate PastNational President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “Time has come for human health professionals, animal health care professionals, environmentalists, and agriculture professionals to work collaboratively and develop solutions to various problems which are increasing with each passing year. Although the one health programme is in place in India, it does not seem to be getting the right results due to different administrative and ministerial controls. It has often been seen that allocation of budgets are spread over different ministries looking after the human, animal, agriculture, and environmental health programmes.

One health is a concept that incorporates human, animal, plant, and environmental health (air, water, earth) under one roof. It recognizes that the health of people is connected to the health of animals, plants and the environment.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also Vice President of Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania, added, “At present, the ministries of health, agriculture, rural development, environment, road transport, climate change, earth sciences, water, Women and child development, Swatch Bharat Program, ICMR, ICAR, IARI, etc., are looking after their respective matters of human concern.

 Hence, the Heart Care Foundation of India would request the government to consider the following while framing guidelines for the union budget this year.”

  • Bring administrative and budgetary control of all such schemes of all segments that deal with health of humans, animals, environment-climate change, agriculture production, and disease control, under one roof namely “One health Program”. This will enable the scientists working in these sectors independently on prevention and control of diseases that have potential to shift their host from one sector to other, and these can be better researched and controlled.
  • Allocate common budget or link these budgets for these programmes so that more intersectoral cooperation and sharing of knowledge takes place. Besides, overlapping of programmes in these ministries will also go away to a large extent and thus would also result in more saving of financial outflow.

Other suggestions

In ESI insurance, government policy ensures that 6.5% of income is contributed by the employee/employer towards his/her medical insurance if the salary is within Rs 18,000 per month. We suggest that such a scheme/provision be extended to the private sector also and across all the categories of employees (managers and above) so that the health budget of the employee is safe guarded to a large extent by such insurance schemes.

All emergent care service should be provided free or reimbursed to private sector by the government.

It is mandatory for all private sector health service providers to attend to all the medical emergencies at their centres and provide free health care services that may be needed at that time to save a life. The same is true in all government hospitals in the country.

The government should give some laxity to the private sector and reimburse for the services provided at pre-decided cost.

It should be made mandatory for all private practitioners to offer their services for National Health Programmes in their area of work so that more manpower is available for strict implementation of such programmes. These programmes are presently implemented by government departments as state/centrally financed schemes and often lack in bringing in a change or results due to lack of infrastructure/manpower. Each participating doctors should be put on retainer ship model under an incentive model.

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Autor: Dr. Jaswant Singh Puri, Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa), Social Activist, Punjab Rattan, Member, Dewan