Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Education And Debate

Lessons from developing nations on improving health care

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 06 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1124

Rapid Response:

India needs to learn.

The article by Donald M Berwick should be an eye opener for people who
make health policies in a developing country like India. India is full of
villages and small cities from where a patient would have to travel
atleast fifty to sixty miles before he can have access to a primary care
facility which would be less than equipped with basic minimum drugs and
services.India is a living example of politics hindering the growth of
primary health care.Health is the last priority of any government
considering that less than 2percent of the budget is allocated to
health.That is why more and more patients are running to private hospitals
for treatment.This is a big financial burden for the patients.Also there
is no interest shown by the government to improve the sanitary
conditions.The slogan 'Health for all by 2010" seems a distant dream.We
need to learn lessons from countries like Peru and Russsia regarding
primary health care and seriously introspect our health policies and their

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 May 2004
Consultant gastroenterologist and Chief research officer
Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute for Liver, Renal and Digestuve Diseases,Shiekh Sarai Phase I