IMA-A.P. releases ‘Health Manifesto’ for equal access to healthcare

Minimum allocation for health, which at present varies from 1.1 to 1.6% of GDP, should be increased to 2.5%, demand members

Updated - April 07, 2024 11:17 am IST

Published - April 06, 2024 10:51 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA

Members of the Indian Medical Association releasing the ‘Health Manifesto’ in Vijayawada on Saturday.

Members of the Indian Medical Association releasing the ‘Health Manifesto’ in Vijayawada on Saturday. | Photo Credit: G.N. RAO

The Indian Medical Association (IMA)-Andhra Pradesh on April 6 (Saturday) released a ‘health manifesto’ pointing out the gaps in the healthcare sector and the measures to be taken to bridge them to ensure equal healthcare for all.

In view of the forthcoming elections and also on the eve of World Health Day on April 7 (Sunday), the members of the IMA released the manifesto to bring the issues plaguing the healthcare system to the attention of the public.

The first in the manifesto is the Universal Health Care which, they said, should be an entitled provision in the basic health package of every citizen. The government should not only provide appropriate medical care but also address all the health determinants, including drinking water and sanitation.

Despite numerous policy announcements prioritising health, the governments at the Centre and State levels have historically underfunded the public health sector, resulting in rising inequity in access to healthcare. The IMA demanded that the minimum allocation for health, which at present varies from 1.1 to 1.6% of GDP, one of the lowest in the world, should be increased to 2.5%, they said.

AMR threat

Highlighting that Anti-Microbial Resistance is an emerging threat in the communicable diseases, the IMA members said it has to be tackled with urgency. The responsible use of antibiotics is a fundamental and effective strategy in containing AMR.

The members also advocated the revival of the Indian Medical Services, which was discontinued in 1948, to address the issue of paucity of professionalism in health management.

Referring to violence against doctors, the State IMA members said hospitals should be declared a safe zone and that they should be protected by a law.

IMA State general secretary P. Phanidhar, and president G. Nanda Kishore were among those present in the programme.

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