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Revamp medicare to make it pro-people

Pushpa M. Bhargava’s article “Whither medical and health care” (Oct 9) was purposeful. I fully endorse the writer’s core argument that the government has deliberately allowed its hospitals to go to seed so that private hospitals can flourish. Our nation’s performance in the health sector is quite poor. The low-income group people visiting government hospitals are not attended to properly and the doctors posted there usually show a lukewarm attitude towards them.

Many doctors resign from their government job and set up their own private clinics or hospitals. Some of them augment their income by practicing in the evenings. Due to exorbitant fees and high cost of different medical tests, the common people are scared of visiting multi-speciality hospitals. I support the writer’s basic conviction that a few decades ago, the profit-making mentality had not crept into the medical profession.

Now when MBBS degrees are being manipulated and purchased for Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1 crore, the doctors seem to have become heartless traders. The media continue reporting the growing distrust between the common people and the owners of private hospitals. In several cases, the dead bodies are not handed over till full medical fees is paid.

In the recent years, our cities and towns have seen several spontaneous demonstrations against the cold and heartless behaviour of private hospital authorities towards low-income group patients and their relatives. Good medical facilities are going to remain a distant dream for the common people of India if the Centre does not adopt a suitable strategy for revamping the entire health sector with a pro-people attitude.


Target terror camps

The editorial “Musharraf’s confession: India’s stand on terror justified” (Oct 7) has hit the nail on the head by posing a pertinent question: “Why should the world wait for another major terrorist strike to finish off the training camps of these killing outfits?’

Gen Pervez Musharraf (retd) may have made the confession with an ulterior motive of escalating tension between Pakistan and India or even justifying his own Kargil misadventure. His direct and unequivocal admission of Pakistan training terrorists for attacking India disproves those who have so far been taking India’s charge with a pinch of salt.

Pakistan had closed the Khyber Pass to cut the military supply lines through Pakistan for the US-led NATO forces fighting in Afghanistan. This must make the US sit up and get rid of its illusion of Pakistan being its partner in the war against terrorism.

If even now the US does not realise the fatal folly of ignoring Pakistan’s double game, the former will have itself to blame for its imminent humiliation at the hands of terrorists in Afghanistan.



The editorial was an eye-opener. In view of Gen Musharraf’s statement that militant groups were indeed trained in Pakistan, India and the US should not wait for another major terrorist attack. Rather they should go ahead and destroy all the terrorist training centres which exist in Pakistan. Otherwise, Pakistan will continue to be a threat to peace in South Asia.


Flawed teaching

The article “Systemic flaws in education” (Oct 8) by S S Johl was apt. He has rightly said that although 80 per cent of the total population of the country is studying in government schools and the government is employing the best of teachers who are paid a handsome salary, they do not perform their duties with responsibility.

Often these teachers do not hold classes and compel students to take tuitions from them or they even go to the extent of sub-contracting their job at nominal payments. As a result, these students are left high and dry and this results in a high dropout rate. On the other hand, in private schools, the management employs teachers who may not be the best and pays low salaries. Yet these teachers perform well and train students to get admission in the professional institutions. The government has to make its teachers more accountable and it has to check the system of tuitions.



The article gives just one side of the story. Only teachers have been held responsible for the ill-health of the education system. Teachers in government schools have been blamed for non-performance, not holding classes and sub-contracting their jobs. It is unfair to treat everyone alike. The percentage of such insincere teachers is miniscule.

The other side of the story is that the government must provide proper infrastructure in schools such as classrooms, blackboards, benches, toilets, clean drinking water, requisite staff and communication facilities. Banning corporal punishment too has contributed to poor results. Some mischievous students blackmail teachers by alleging corporal punishment.

KAILASH GARG, Chandigarh

Politicians must retire

Amar Chandel’s middle “If politicians retire” (Oct 9) was interesting and conveyed a serious message. A feeling of insecurity has crept into political outfits and therefore rules the mind of our politicians. They are reluctant to hang their boots.

Few others suffer from the ailment of perpetual dynastic rule and find it a lucrative enterprise for their kith and kin. Politicians should not prolong their careers merely for monetary gains. Young people should be encouraged to take part in politics.

AKSHAY DADHWAL, Sunhet. Kangra



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