TALK ON “PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN KERALA”

Date: 2 October 2012

Time: 2 pm to 3.30 pm

Venue: Dept. of Social Work, SS-113

Talk by: Arathy Aravind, S3Msw.

Moderator: Shilpa V.R

Faculty Support: Mr.Ranjith K and Mr. VS Kochukrishna Kurup

The talk was conducted as part of Kerala Model Development. Mr.Renjith R, Lecturer, Department of Social Work, gave an introduction about the “Kerala Model Development”. The development experience of Kerala achieved worldwide attention because of the coexistence of its remarkable achievements in social and human developments with low economic growth. This unique pattern of development is often referred to as the Kerala Model Development. The Gross domestic Product of our state is still low all indicators are achieving the targets at its focus. At the beginning of the present centaury, Kerala’s life expectancy at birth was 73.3%. He also mentions that our state is 100% literate because of the mass campaign in the Literacy Movement by Alphonse Kannanthanam, IAS officer. He also mentions the atrocities against the tribal people happening in Kerala. The reservation to government services and educational institutions is based on the caste. So the poor class (financially low) people in the upper caste are being neglected or marginalized. The reservation should be on the basis of the class. He also cited the Gujarat Model of Development.

After giving the introduction, he welcomes Miss. Arathy Aravind to deliver a talk on “Public Health and Public Health Care Services in Kerala”.

First, she gave an introduction about the public health and services in Kerala. Kerala is one of the developing states which have achieved a substantial progress in health. Even if the GDP is low, the health status of Kerala is very high. There is a contradiction of low mortality rate and high morbidity rate in Kerala. The infant and maternal mortality rate is very low and life expectancy is high. Kerala also have a favorable sex ratio. Arathy also pointed out that it is difficult to identify the factors affecting the demographical, epidemiological and health transition in Kerala. Next, she talked about the Evolution of Health Care System in Kerala. During the pre independence period, there was remarkable progress in the health system of Kerala. Health care system is far better in British period than in other states.  She also presented a table which is attached herewith:

It can be noticed from the table that Travancore possess the highest number of beds and institutions per 1, 00,000 populations. The health care infrastructure of British Malabar was not poor but the colonial policy lacked a developmental vision. After Independence the Government have taken steps to improve preventive and curative health care through Primary, Secondary and Tertiary level health care institutions.  She also gave a small talk about the Health Care Expenditure. Financing of the health care expenditure has become an important policy issue in both developimg and developed countries.

Arathy also gave a description about the Kerala Model Development in Health Sector. She points out enough statistics in this context. There are over 2,700 government medical institutions, with 330 beds per 100,000 populations. With only 3% of India’s population, the tiny state provides two-thirds of India’s palliative care services. She also points out the percentage of each health indicators in Kerala.

Health Indicators                                     Kerala        

Birth rate (per 1,000 population)        15.00

Death rate (per 1,000 population)          6.40

IMR ( 1,000 population)                         14.00

MMR (per 1,000 live births)                110

Total Fertility rate (per woman)          1.70

Couple Protection rate (%)                     72.10

Life at birth (Male)                                    70.90

Life at birth (Female)                                 76.00

Life at birth (Average)                                73.45

A brief description on the Public Health Care System was given. The Primary Health Centre should consist of 1 Medical Officer, 14 Paramedical staff and other supporting staffs. At national level there should be adequate number of PHC’s. Community Health Centers are the first referral units for 4 PHC’s offering specialist care. She also pointed out that available funds should be utilized to make all the institutions fully functional by needed equipments, consumables, drugs etc. She also talks about the Private Health Sector. It is one of the largest health care providers. More than 45% of institutions are unregistered. Our health care system faces also many challenges like safe drinking water sanitary latrines remained inaccessible to significant sections of the population, health care system is largely controlled by private forces, absence of organized community health initiatives, very high cost of health care, weakened environmental sanitation, absence of institutional mechanisms to study and support etc.

There were many questions raised from the part of spectators. The information in the talk that about 45% of the institutions are unregistered in the private health sector was an alarming issue. This was a controversial issue. But there is no authenticity regarding the data. This leads to the issue of private practice by doctors. It is pointed out in the discussion that some people are benefitted by this practice and for some segment of populations it is very expensive. One of the main drawbacks is that the number of unregistered practioners will increase.

Mr.Ranjith.R pointed that Ranbaxy, an international Drug manufacturing company, give liquor bottles and other bribes to the doctors and for this the doctors prescribes the newly manufactured and unregistered medicines to the patients. But the common man is not aware of this serious issue.

Another question raised is that why communicable diseases are originating first in the district of Alapuzha.   The given answer by the presenter was the presence of large water bodies in Alapuzha district.

Another question was that Is increasing the number of hospitals is a development or not? It is not a development but the existing number of hospitals should be strengthened, according to the presenter.

The presentation was very good and simple with enough clarity and was very informative. The suggestions given are the presentation should be better if it includes recent statistics and contemporary issues like salary of nurses, private practitioners etc. It was also good to include about the lifestyle diseases.

…………………………………………………………………………….

Lecture by: Arathy Aravind

Chaired by : Shilpa V.R

Documented by : Sandhya. S. Mani

Edited by : Parvathy.V

Photo: Vishnuraj R

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One thought on “TALK ON “PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN KERALA”

  1. friends, his is a good report..and a relevant topic..we should have more discussion programmes like this in future..my only suggestion is that you could consider giving references in places where health indicators is mentioned, public health system is talked about etc..overall, informative..

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