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Health Care : Private Practice of Government Doctors - A Boon or Bane ?

Author(s): Varghese Thomas

Journal: Calicut Medical Journal
ISSN 0972-9518

Volume: 7;
Issue: 3;
Start page: e1;
Date: 2009;
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The health needs of third world countries are provided through a mix of private and publicenterprises. The government sector cannot boast of universal availability of basic health carefacilities throughout India. Even in the state of Kerala, with highest literacy in the country, thegovernment sector takes care of only about 40% of the health needs of the society. The nongovernmentalsector (NGS) caters to more than 50% of the health needs. While the governmentalagencies take care of both curative and preventive health, the NGS deals mainly with the curativehealth needs. The NGS includes private practitioners of various systems of health, small nursinghomes and hospitals and large corporate hospitals. The major players catering to most of theoutpatient health needs of the society are the small time practitioners which includes privatemedical practitioners attached to small clinics, doctors employed in government sectors doingprivate practice and doctors in small nursing homes. Large hospitals and nursing homes are limitedto bigger towns and cities. Common people generally do not go to these hospitals for immediatehealth needs and trivial problems for fear of the high rates for treatment.

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