Role of Government in Health
Q.1. What is health?
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.
Q.2. Apart from disease, what are the other factors which would affect our health?
The other factors are:
- Availability of adequate safe drinking water
- Pollution-free environment
- Social behaviour or interaction
Q.3 Why do we pay tax to the government?
- The government uses tax money for providing many public services for the benefit of all citizens. Some services such as defence, police, judicial system, highways etc. benefit all citizens. Otherwise, the citizens cannot organise these services for themselves.
- Taxes fund developmental programmes and services such as education, health care,
employment, social welfare, vocational training etc. required for needy citizens.
- Tax money is utilised for relief and rehabilitation in case of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, tsunami etc.
- Space, nuclear, and missile programmes are also funded from the revenues collected as taxes.
- The government provides some services especially for the poor who cannot afford to purchase them from the market like health care.
Q.4. Write a short note on Public Health Service.
- The public health service is a chain of health centres and hospitals run by the government. They are linked together so that they cover both rural and urban areas and can also provide treatment to all kinds of problems – from common illnesses to special services.
- At the village level, there are health centres where there is usually a nurse and a village health worker. They are trained in dealing with common illnesses and work under the supervision of doctors at the Primary Health Centre (PHC). Such a centre covers many villages in a rural area.
- At the district level is the District Hospital that also supervises all the health centres.
- Large cities have many government hospitals.
Q. 5. What is the importance of the Public Health Service?
According to our Constitution, it is the primary duty of the government to ensure the welfare of the people and provide health care facilities to all. The government must safeguard the Right to Life of every person. So, in order to fulfil its commitment to providing health care to all citizens, the government has established these hospitals and health centres.
The important aspects of the function of the public health system are –
- To provide quality health care services either free or at a low cost, so that even the poor can seek treatment.
- Another important function of public health is to take action to prevent the spread of diseases such as TB, malaria, jaundice, cholera.
Q.6. In what ways is the Public Health Service meant for everyone?
The resources needed to run these services are obtained from the money that we, the public, pay to the government as taxes. Hence, such facilities are meant for everyone.
Q.7. In India, private services are increasing but public services are not. Explain why this situation is not
This situation is not good because of the following reasons:
- The public has no option other than to avail private services.
- These services are mainly concentrated in urban areas.
- The cost of these services is rather high. Medicines are expensive. Many people cannot afford them or have to borrow money when there is an illness in the family.
- Some private services encourage incorrect practices to earn more. For example, some medical practitioners are found to prescribe superfluous medicines, injections or saline when simple medication may suffice.
Q.8. Which section of society experience inequality in healthcare facilities?
- Women are not taken to a doctor in a prompt manner. Women’s health concerns are considered to be less important than the health of men in the family.
- Tribal peoples are also exempted from getting proper medical facility. Many tribal areas have few health centres and they do not run properly. Even private health services are not available.
Q.9. Why poor peoples are more likely to fall ill?
Poor people are usually undernourished. These families are not eating as much as they should. They are not provided basic necessities like drinking water, adequate housing, clean surroundings, etc., and therefore, are more likely to fall ill.
Q. 10. How can health care be made more affordable?
Some of the ways by which health can be made more affordable are the followings:
- More health centres and hospitals should be built in the rural areas.
- Regulations should be made for the doctors to serve in the rural areas also.
- Medicine should be available everywhere and at an affordable price.
- Cleanliness programmes should be promoted.
- Requirement of basic amenities of people should be fulfilled and their social conditions should be improved.
Q . 11. What steps were taken by the Kerala Government in 1996 to improve the health condition in the
In 1996, the Kerala government made some major changes in the state. Some of them are:
- Forty per cent of the entire state budget was given to panchayats. With that budget, proper planning was done for water, food, women’s development and education.
- Water supply schemes were checked, the working of schools and anganwadis were ensured and specific problems of the village were taken up.
- Health centres were also improved.
Q.12. How Costa Rica becomes one of the healthiest countries in Central America?
Several years ago, Costa Rica took a very important decision and decided not to have an army. This
helped the Costa Rican government to spend the money that the army would have used, on health,
education and other basic needs of the people.
The Costa Rican government provides basic services and amenities to all Costa Ricans. Health education is also considered very important and knowledge about health is an essential part of education at all levels.