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Health and Health Care

Health and health care need to be distinguished from each other for no better reason than that the former is often incorrectly seen as a direct function of the latter. Heath is clearly not the mere absence of disease. Good Health confers on a person or groups freedom from illness - and the ability to realize one's potential. Health is therefore best understood as the indispensable basis for defining a person's sense of well being. The health of populations is a distinct key issue in public policy discourse in every mature society often determining the deployment of huge society. They include its cultural understanding of ill health and well-being, extent of socio-economic disparities, reach of health services and quality and costs of care. and current bio-mcdical understanding about health and illness.

Health care covers not merely medical care but also all aspects pro preventive care too. Nor can it be limited to care rendered by or financed out of public expenditure- within the government sector alone but must include incentives and disincentives for self care and care paid for by private citizens to get over ill health. Where, as in India, private out-of-pocket expenditure dominates the cost financing health care, the effects are bound t be regressive. Heath care at its essential core is widely recognized to be a public good. Its demand and supply cannot therefore, be left to be regulated solely by the invisible had of the market. Nor can it be established on considerations of utility maximizing conduct alone.

What makes for a just health care system even as an ideal? Four criteria could be suggested- First universal access, and access to an adequate level, and access without excessive burden. Second fair distribution of financial costs for access and fair distribution of burden in rationing care and capacity and a constant search for improvement to a more just system. Third training providers for competence empathy and accountability, pursuit of quality care ad cost effective use of the results of relevant research. Last special attention to vulnerable groups such a children, women, disabled and the aged.

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