Stories written by Vani S. Kulkarni

The ‘Public’ in Public Health


 

The discourse must move beyond a top-down approach to listen to the people and formulate best insurance practices

Mind the Treatment Gap

Implementation of the Mental Healthcare Act will require a restructuring of health-care services The Mental Healthcare Bill, 2016, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on March 27, 2017, has been hailed as a momentous reform. According to the Bill, every person will have the right to access mental health care operated or funded by the government; good quality and affordable health care; equality of treatment and protection from inhuman practices; access to legal services; and right to complain against coercion and cruelty. The Bill also empowers a mentally ill person to choose a treatment and her/his nominated representative, decriminalises attempted suicide, prohibits the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to mentally ill adults without the use of muscle relaxants and anaesthesia, and contains provisions for care, treatment and rehabilitation for those who have experienced severe stress and attempted suicide. While these are laudable and ambitious objectives as they address major concerns of mental health care, there have been some critiques drawing attention to the lack of funds, trained personnel, and insufficient emphasis on community care. The ground reality, however, suggests that these objectives are not just overambitious but an overkill.

Is Demise of Small Farmers Imminent?

Imminent demise of small farmers is predicted as they are not competitive in a context of transforming agrifood markets. Most important is the transformation of the "post–farm gate" segments of the supply chains.