My write up on ET Prime.
I have written extensively about the need for prevention and how we can achieve it in India. I hope you find it instructive.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word prevention as “the action of stopping something from happening or arising”. Preventive healthcare, however, only mitigates the long-term complications of a disease by delaying its onset.
According to the National Health Accounts (2013-14 ), only 9.6% of the overall healthcare budget is spent on preventable diseases. The bulk of the expenses (90%) goes into tackling the burgeoning complications and amounts to a massive INR3.6 lakh crore per year.
NCDs are a complex interplay of diet, genetics, and environmental conditions that have varying roles. They also depend on the individual’s susceptibility to diseases. Therefore, preventive healthcare best applies only to an individual and becomes challenging when it is scaled to cover a wider base of population. Current models are inadequate to define the risk of various interconnected factors that predispose people to ill health, and remain an area of active research.
(I apologise it is behind a paywall- however, let me know if you want me to send a code on the email). It is a lot of hard work to write it!