Kerala health model


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Presented to the students from US Universities, under International Honours Programme. Organised by Basic Needs, Bangalore, at Kerala Institute of Local admn. Nov 2009.

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Kerala health model

  1. 1. Kerala Health Model: Challenges FacedAn Outsider Perspective, From Within..<br />Discussion By:<br />V R Raman, <br />Public Health Practitioner<br />
  2. 2. Kerala: did the impossible<br />Remarkable health, population and human development indices- compared with advanced country settings <br />achieved the model status without much ado, within the hugest limitations of an Indian state<br />Source of inspiration for many Indian states and third world settings, astonishment for researchers across the world..<br />Known for holistic, systematic and equity based approach <br />Studied and presented well to the world, by leading experts, hence the strengths are well known<br />Hence the effort here is to bring in the challenges of the model, notwithstanding the greater impact of it..<br />May appear like a little negative impression, though the intention is to strengthening and taking this model further forward…<br />Observations are based on the current situation, not exactly in a historical context<br />
  3. 3. One of the rarest piece of land in the world with richest bio-diversity<br />Geographical diversity too: ocean, backwaters, rivers, forests, high ranges<br />Huge population density, best literacy, numeracy and education levels<br />Stronger presence of social movements <br />Rich political spirit, instability too..<br />Very strong spirit of local and decentralised administration<br />Most of the health determinants are taken care very well: affordable public distribution system, nutrition measures, basic education, etc<br />Largely agriculture based life-setting, but the monetary incomes has made the shift to market based culture- except in forest areas<br />Excellent rural infrastructure and connectivity<br />Greater media and technology outreach<br />Land distribution, plus almost all urban amenities available in rural areas: the divide is less<br />Gender disparities are very much there, but in a different way<br />Less visible, but high social disparities too, especially for the indigenous, underprivileged groups- despite many of the progressive measures to address them<br />Kerala: A Bird’s View<br />
  4. 4. Low GDP but high health: also contradiction of low mortality and high morbidity<br />Huge prevalence of non-communicable and life-style diseases (high alcoholism?):<br />Return of some communicable diseases too, <br />Large, but grossly underutilised public health systems, except for the tertiary level <br />Healthcare largely controlled by private health forces: missionary movements too have slowly become part of private stream- health thus is not so pro-poor affair<br />Huge market for health diagnostics, clinical and surgical care, drugs and health accessories- anything goes with the health tag…<br />Good influence of traditional medicine & Ayurveda- their strong and systematic presence too, if compared to rest of India- <br />Organised community health initiatives are almost absent<br />Very high cost of health care<br />Market-controlled health education and health awareness drive, heavy presence of popular health journals: creates panic than essential knowledge- leading to unwarranted health concerns, stigma and return of irrational thinking..<br />Health care regulation not so strong…<br />Weakened environmental sanitation, waste disposal and management <br />Weaker health research initiatives to lay down the future path<br />Kerala: Health Highlights<br />
  5. 5. High HRH production, however, without proper HR vision and planning- even the institutions in neighbouring states cater for Kerala students<br />Physicians, Specialists, Nurses, Nurse Educators, Lab-techs, paramedics- almost all HR needs addressed, though not necessarily met<br />High technical skills built (larger Kerala scenario and in select institutions outside!!), but poor perspective building<br />Global syllabus, weaker local contextualisation<br />Goal of monetary opportunities abroad leads to brain drain..<br />Comparatively high income (many times unethical, though) in private sector makes a large chunk of remaining HRH to join it..<br />Those people who looks for a secure and local job, many people who got no other opportunities and a few committed people makes the HR mix for public Health Systems<br />Kerala: Human Resources for Health<br />
  6. 6. Political instability- lack of continuum in taking the mission forward<br />Lack of a long-term policy framework, though highly demanded by organizations like KSSP<br />Kerala being a small state within the federal republic system of India- it was difficult to act like an independent country<br />Weak concurrent research and documentation processes, course correction measures and <br />Absence of institutional mechanisms to study, support and take the Kerala Model forward<br />Weaker social health contributions of medical education Institutes<br />How did these challenges emerge?<br />
  7. 7. Tendency is to follow the national patterns, where it has no comparison with Kerala context: thus the thrust should be:<br />Visioning for health, specific for Kerala: A SWOT analysis followed by systemic roadmap for changes<br />Need assessment and need based and unique programme planning<br />Decentralization as the key, and the capacity building needed for local health plans and administration<br />Paradigm shift in HR planning and development- excellence with perspectives and commitment<br />Focus on environmental health issues<br />Shift of focus to Public Health from Medicine <br />Health of the poorest and vulnerable is a growing concern, due to higher costs of health care, also due to weaker access to public facilities in needy areas<br />Proper regulation of private sector and costs<br />Parallel social sector changes too…<br />Unique institutional mechanisms to support these <br />Kerala Health: Indications<br />
  8. 8. V R RamanPublic Health Practitioner_________________________________________________________Technical Adviser, upcoming Jharkhand State Health Resource Centre, Ranchi, India.Consultant, ICICI Centre for Child Health & Nutrition, IndiaFormer Director-in-charge, State Health Resource Centre Chhattisgarh, Raipur, India.Member, Editorial Advisory, Public Health Resource Network, India.Associated with People's Health Movement, India.Associated with People's Science Movements, India.Student of Public Health, University of Western Cape, South Africa.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Res: 24, ShreejiVrindavanNear Govt. School, AmlidihRaipur, Chhattisgarh, India. 492006.Cell: +91-94242-07375Cell at Jharkhand: +91-9973806778Tel (Res-Raipur): + 91-771-4268926Skype/Myspace IM id: weareramanEmail:<br />