Notes of Chapter 2 Role of the Government in Health Class 7th Civics

What is health?

• Health means ability to remain free of illness and injuries. 

• Apart from disease, there are various factors that affect our health.

• For example, if people get clean drinking water or a pollution free environment, they are likely to be healthy.

Healthcare in India

• India has a large number of doctors, clinics and hospitals.

• The country also has considerable experience and knowledge in running a public healthcare system.

• There are two types of health care facilities: 
→ Public health services
→ Private health facilities

Public health services

• The public health service is a chain of health centers and hospitals run by the government. 

• At the village level there are health centres where there is usually a nurse and a village health worker.

• At the district level is the District Hospital that also supervises all the health centres.

• The public health service is meant to provide quality health care services either free or at a low cost, so that even the poor can seek treatment.

• According to our Constitution, it is the primary duty of the government to ensure the welfare of the people and provide health care facilities to all. 
→ The government must safeguard the Right to Life of every person.

Private health facilities

• A large number of doctors run their own private clinics. In the rural areas, one finds Registered Medical Practitioners (RMPs). 

• Urban areas have a large number of doctors, many of them providing specialised services.

• Private health facilities are not owned or controlled by the government. 

• The patients have to pay a lot of money for every service that they use.

Is adequate healthcare available to all? 

• In India, we face a situation where private services are increasing but public services are not. 

• Private services are concentrated in urban areas. 

• The cost of these services is rather high. 

• Medicines are expensive.

• For those who are poor, every illness in the family is a cause of great anxiety and distress.

• They are not provided with basic necessities like drinking water, adequate housing, clean surroundings, etc., and therefore, are more likely to fall ill.

• Many tribal areas have few health centres and they do not run properly.

What can be done? 

• It is the responsibility of the government to provide quality healthcare services to all its citizens, especially the poor and the disadvantaged.

Case Study of Costa Rica

• Costa Rica is considered to be one of the healthiest countries in South America. 

• The Costa Rican government provides basic services and amenities to all Costa Ricans. 

• For example, it provides safe drinking water, sanitation, nutrition and housing. 

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