Healthcare politics reach new heights with Modi announcing setting up 9 medical colleges and Congress offering free treatment worth 10 lakh rupees ahead of UP polls
The Indian election battle has got stiffer and steep ahead of the state legislative polls. All the parties, especially ones fighting the poll battle in UP, are trying to test their ground connect by all possible methods. A glimpse of it was seen today when both Congress and BJP were promising gala changes in the state healthcare system to woo the UP residents.
But many are asking that whether these changes will materialize in future for all. Or like every time after the election, they will make inroads to other states via Ganga as in the case of covid dead bodies.
Politics and Healthcare
Right after the covid massacre, the entire national politics have shifted their energy and efforts to develop the Indian healthcare system, with questionable outcomes. Most of the existing hospitals ran out of medical supplies, medicines, and even oxygen cylinders during the second phase of covid.
Not only these, but India also suffers from a poor doctor-patient ratio. According to the 15th Finance Commission, each Indian allopathic doctor caters to 1,511 patients, much lower than the WHO’s recommendation.
Post covid election campaigns have seen all the contending parties announcing healthcare schemes as their main election agenda. The data collected by the various organizations have pointed out the success of these schemes. The most prominent example is Bengal’s election agenda — the Swasthya Sathi card. The Swasthya Sathi cardholders can avail of up to 5 lakhs rupees worth of treatment for free.
BJP and UP Healthcare
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the nine medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh’s Gazipur, Mirzapur and other districts while launching the Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission.
“About 2,500 new beds will be added with the construction of 9 new medical colleges. New employment opportunities have been created for more than 5,000 doctors and paramedics,” PM Modi said at the function hosted in Varanasi. The total cost of the project is 2,329 crore rupees. At least four out of nine places that will house the medical college belongs to eastern UP. Modi has also claimed to make eastern UP the new medical hub of east India.
(Translation: The Purvanchal which was left by the earlier governments to fight diseases, the same Purvanchal will now become the medical hub of eastern India, giving many doctors who can save the country from diseases.)
The announcement comes in the wake of a farmer protest that has ripped the western borders of the poll-bound state and has spread to the central UP after the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. The farmers are now planning to conduct a protest in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Congress now target healthcare after 40% ticket reservation for women
Within hours of BJP announcing the establishment of the medical colleges, UP Congress led by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has pledged to give free treatment for up to 10 lakh rupees, along with other promises for the betterment of healthcare facilities.
(Translation: Everyone saw the dilapidated condition of the health system of UP due to government neglect during the Corona period and now due to the fever spread in the state. For cheap and good treatment, with the consent of the manifesto committee, the UP Congress has decided that if the government is formed ‘Any disease Government will have free treatment up to 10 lakhs.)
This move had proved the new bolstered effect of healthcare facilities in Indian politics. Congress has steadily lost its relevance in the UP since 1989 after losing to Janta Dal. It had tried hard to regain prominence with Rahul Gandhi leading the camp between the 2012–2017 elections but failed. Instead, the lack of understanding about regional diversification has caused more damage to the party.
The steady decline of the number of candidates filed by Congress in the UP state elections has stopped the national-regional alliances. The major regional oppositions like Samajwadi Party and BSP has decided not to tie up with Congress after the 2017 massacre.
In 2017, the party had filled only 114 candidates as a junior ally of SP. Thus, they are now forced to fend for themselves and overturn the prediction.
Therefore to save the sinking ship, Priyanka Gandhi is trying all possible methods to win at least a respectable amount of seats in UP polls. She was also very active in pointing out the dilapidated healthcare system.
She had visited the houses of the relatives of the covid patients whose corpses were floated in Ganga. During covid, she and Rahul Gandhi went on to distribute food and groceries to the needy and dislocated migrant workers.
Priyanka had earlier announced 40% reservation in tickets for women politicians and promised to pay 400 rupees per quintal for sugarcane crops as the minimum support price.