The legendary Telugu poet Gurajada Appa Rao famously proclaimed that a nation is not a piece of real estate but is a multitude of people. Now the question arises what kind of people make our nation strong and powerful? The obvious answer is only those people who are well educated, healthy and empowered, can build a strong nation. The investment in health and education come under human capital and is vital for the healthy and equitable growth of any nation. In view of the vital importance of these two sectors, even the staunchly capitalist societies don’t leave them to capitalist profit mongers and take direct responsibility of providing these services to the needy. However, In India which is the home of teeming millions who are too poor, the government has renounced its responsibility of providing quality education and healthcare services to the people of the country. The private players are well entrenched in these two sectors and are fleecing the people with exorbitant fees.
The hospitals that are run by the government have turned into the virtual hellholes for the poor. It appears that Lord Yama, the Hindu God of death, has deployed all his “kinkaras’ only at the gates of government hospitals considering the demand the death has in those places. We are all well aware of the fact that death has been dancing ceaselessly in the government hospitals in Uttar Pradesh and the government-run hospitals in other parts of the country are no better. Most of the privately owned, so-called super specialty hospitals in the country charge exorbitant consultation fees and prescribe excessive pathology tests. The private healthcare sector spends a lot of money on advertising and marketing and this expenditure is finally imposed on patients. The corporate-friendly governments are highly reluctant to exercise any kind of control over these looters and remain as mute spectators letting them feely indulge in excessive profiteering.