By Badri Raina, ZNet, Dec 13, 2009
Badri Raina’s ZSpace Page
No one can be perfectly free till all are free; no one can be perfectly moral till all are moral; no one can be perfectly happy till all are happy.”
To that talisman you could add another: no one can be perfectly healthy till all are healthy.
At a time, however, when Obama, the welfarist democrat, battles the American Congress, sundry red-necks, and powerful Pharma lobbyists and private medical insurers to bring to beleaguered Americans a guaranteed public health dispensation, his strategic partner, Manmohan Singh, may be about to cart off the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, an iconic symbol of Nehru’s welfarist national vision, “recognized for providing low-cost medical care to large numbers of patients” (Wikipedia) to sundry business interests.
A committee (Valiathan) now recommends that the institute “should form consortia to develop and transfer for commercialization a range of products and processes.”
It suggests that “consultancy for Indian industry should be encouraged among faculty,” and faculty “should be given leave to join industry.” Further that research papers should be monetarily rewarded as well, such as may be “of great interest to industry.”
In order that these predatory objectives are nicely fulfilled, it recommends that “industrialists. . . be nominated by the central government” to the controlling Board “in consultation with CII, NASSCOM, and FICCII”—godlike conglomerates of India’s private capital.
Lest you think that these recommendations have anything to do with enhancing the primary health care obligations of the Institute, please note that for the 12 years that the prestigious India Today magazine has conducted surveys, AIIMS has been ranked number ONE for 11 years!
Just as surveys conducted by the Week and Outlook magazines have named it the best hospital in India overall, as well as best in several individual fields, such as Cardiology, Nuerology, Gasteroenterology, Gynocology, and Opthalmology, ahead of several specialized institutions (Wikipedia).
Thus, even as Obama pays compliment to Castro’s Cuba for the care it takes of Cuban’s health, Manmohan Singh rushes to emulate the American Republicans who believe passionately (read rabidly) that the least penny spent on public health by the state violates the overriding sanctity of the Market.