To crave for success might motivate profiteers to thrive in the competition called ‘life’, but it has equally proven disastrous to the individuals as well as communities. The onslaught of privatised healthcare and dependence on a patent regulated pharmaceutical regime has shot up the profits to stratosphere for the corporations; but its effect on the healthcare of impoverished masses definitely demands an alternative route.
Community Health where the quotient changes from cure to prevention is one answer which unfortunately gets sidelined. Rather than waiting for the disease to strike, the concept of preventive and community health concentrates on areas such as physical activity promotion, tobacco control, prevention of violence against women, maternal and child health, prevention of youth violence and community safety. The local hospital in this model becomes an integrating point of activists and health-workers stressing on prevention rather than cure.
Indians despite the much hyped economic progress continue to languish at the global bottom vis-a-vis health standards. Statistically, on the one hand, India spends around 1.2% of its GDP on health but on the other, only 56% of its one-year-old children remain immunised against measles. Also, only 48% of married women in 15-49 age category were protected by contraceptives (UNDP-HDR, 2006).
The paradigm shift then is mandated from cure to prevention and from individual to community.