"He added that there is a need to stress on the recognition of importance of health care in the country and irrespective of hurdles like corruption, a path ahead should be carved out."
Kolkata, July 18 - Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen Friday advocated increasing the number of hospitals and improving the quality of existing establishments in the country.

He also called for a balance between the two approaches for boosting health care infrastructure.

Prioritising one over the other is a mistake... there have to be more hospitals... there has to be improved quality of performance in existing hospitals... does it cost money? Yes. Am I saying more money should be spent on medical care? Yes. said Sen.

Am I saying the money be better monitored and importance be attached to the efficiency of the money we spend on health care? You have to do all these things together, he said at a discussion on public health organised by the Pratichi Institute and the Institute of Development Studies (IDSK) here.

In economic development, there is nothing as bad as the thought of doing one thing at a time, said Sen.

The discussion came at the conclusion of a two-day workshop in collaboration with Society for Health and Demographic Surveillance and Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI).

Sen voiced concern that India's health care vision is moving towards greater reliance on commercial health care at the expense of publicly provided universal health coverage.

There is an overwhelming sense here that there is not a lot that you can do about it. That is a mesmerising thought prevailing here, he said.

He added that there is a need to stress on the recognition of importance of health care in the country and irrespective of hurdles like corruption, a path ahead should be carved out.

To say that we can't do anything until there is no corruption is a non-starter, he said, adding, There are various issues besides corruption, which also need to be tackled.


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