Holistic, Efficient and Effective Healthcare

Holistic, Efficient and Effective Healthcare
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Public policy should not be merely about inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes, notwithstanding the inherent and obvious importance of these. What must form the core thrust of a given public policy is its impact, both in qualitative and quantitative terms. This has a searing resonance in the domain of public health. Healthy human beings, are not only economically productive people but good health also determines the well being, on a range of indicators and metrics, of society. These are the utilitarian aspects of a good, effective and efficient health systems and delivery. But, there is also a moral dimension involved in health care: people are entitled to good and effective health care. But, in the context of Kashmir, it might not be inaccurate to posit that the state of health care is almost in shambles. There are many reasons for this: demographical changes which put pressure on institutions and delivery of healthcare, mismatch between supply and demand of healthcare, lack of resources of an administrative, financial and institutional ones and, in some instances, sheer inefficiency. These structural issues bedevil health care in Jammu and Kashmir. However, this does not and should not mean that the administration(s) employ these as excuses and carry on with and under the same state of affairs. In the final analysis, the institutional and other constraints are what may be called “given constants” which may or may not change over a period of time. The cure to this issue lies in public policy which must be efficient, effective and of a holistic nature. In this sense, public policy, right from conception, design and execution constitutes that variable and level that can be made more efficient in terms of effective and efficient health care in Jammu and Kashmir. Management approaches and methods from the private sector can be employed to streamline and make the sector more efficient. This would be prudent given that public health, a public good, would remain public but the management of the sector would become more effective and efficient. So, there are methods and techniques available that can actually be taken recourse to drastically improve public health and its delivery in the region. What or where then does the problem lie? It lies in lack of will and the general inertia that defines the sector here. But, given the importance of the sector, public health, its access, effectiveness and efficiency, there is no other alternative but to devote extra attention to it and make the life of the “common” man easier.

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