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 Table of Contents  
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 233-235

Health invest: A venture that seldom fails


Department of Periodontology, Maratha Mandal's NGH Institute of Dental Sciences, Belgaum, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission11-Sep-2020
Date of Acceptance26-Sep-2020
Date of Web Publication05-Feb-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kurada Satya
Department of Periodontology, Maratha Mandal's NGH Institute of Dental Sciences, Belgaum, Karnataka
India
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DOI: 10.4103/srmjrds.srmjrds_96_20

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  Abstract 

India has a vibrant culture of customs and beliefs, yet the perceptions on health care remains consistent. Health-care delivery systems hinge onto the general health problems, unfortunately, overlooking the oral health. Most often, people seek dental care, but only in emergencies. Inclusion of oral health in the general health policies would initiate in the people of our country, a habit of regular dental visits. The dentists through these routine screening visits, could then not only promote preventive measures but also detect disease at the onset itself, halting its further progress. The awareness regarding oral health thus generated, could reach out to even rural India. This, in turn, improves the well-being of the society. This short communication aims at highlighting the need of oral health policies in India that would pave a way for a more healthy India.

Keywords: Health care, Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India, oral health policies


How to cite this article:
Satya K, Nayak A, Bhatt A. Health invest: A venture that seldom fails. SRM J Res Dent Sci 2020;11:233-5

How to cite this URL:
Satya K, Nayak A, Bhatt A. Health invest: A venture that seldom fails. SRM J Res Dent Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Feb 25];11:233-5. Available from: https://www.srmjrds.in/text.asp?2020/11/4/233/308792


  Introduction Top


Our Bharatmata, a highly cultured nation, with a blend of various traditions, is identified to be the world's fastest-growing economy. Although we are poised to take off on a progressive spurt on various fronts, the growth of health-care deliverance in India is at a slow but steady pace. Health care provides a wide spectra of delivery systems ranging from basic resources at primary health centers to the hightech care available in most private enterprises. These systems mainly hinge onto the individual's general health problems in either restraining the ailments or terminating the disorder. However, the quality of life of an individual also depends on his/her oral health. It is about time oral health is offered its due credence, after all “oral health” is overall health!!

India is populated with over 1.2 billion people,[1] of which, 65.97%, reside in rural India. We have currently over 2.7 lakh registered dentists in our country.[2] In over 2.7 lakh registered dentists, only around 2.7% are employed under the government sector, providing oral health care to the enormous rural population.[3] There seems to be an alarming mismatch between demand and supply!

Prevention is the only way to bridge this deep divide. This manuscript aims at highlighting the need of oral health policies in India that would pave a way for overall health for all.


  Ameliorating the Current Scenario Top


The progress of the society is not a job to be left to a few, rather, a responsibility to be shared by all. A better future can be designed to reach all the proximities by a different approach.

One of the most effective ways to achieve a long-term perspective of maintaining oral health is through promotion and preventive tools. Prevention starts with a change in the social and environmental conditions. Children and adolescents are receptive to new information and can pass health promotion messages to family members. Schools are the ideal settings that can provide supportive environments in encouraging children to adopt healthy oral health habits and equip them with skills, enabling them to make healthy decisions and adopt healthy lifestyles.

Oral health promotion can be used as a strategic tool for improving the health status of a population. A two-way link between dental problems and systemic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and osteoporosis is being evidenced. The oral screening can unmask the underlying systemic conditions and could help reduce the disability of the individual at the initial stages itself. In effect, an early diagnosis will not only prevent tooth loss but also could assist the promotion of overall health.

The cascade depicted [Figure 1], suggests how implementation of the oral health policies can lead to a rise in the number of patients visiting the dentists. An early diagnosis in turn helps preventing the progress of ailments and achieves an improvement of oral health.
Figure 1: This cascade depicts, how implementation of the oral health policies can lead to a rise in the number of patients visiting the dentists. An early diagnosis in turn helps preventing the progress of ailments and achieves an improvement of oral health

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  Current Developments in India Top


There has been an incredible progress in the health-care system in India. We wish to highlight a few recent developments in the oral health-care setup in India.

Earlier, an insurance cover was offered for the dental treatments which required hospitalization only. As of August 27, 2018, the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India in a partial modification of guidelines on standardization of health insurance deleted a few items from the list of “items for which optional cover may be offered by insurers.”[4] Dental treatments that do not require hospitalization, was one of the items excluded from the list. Earlier, this was optional and therefore, was not covered by most insurers. Considering the deletion, now the insurers can design products/policies to include all the dental treatments. This will help people to avail insurance claim for a simple dental treatment as well. This not only nips the condition in the bud but also helps the government in its fiscal sustainability.

Another development called Ayushman Bharat was launched on August 15, 2018, and was implemented on September 23, 2018.[5]

Ayushman Bharat is the world's largest health scheme announced in the union budget 2018–2019. It is the largest initiative expanding the health insurance net and targets 10 crore poor and deprived rural population. It is designed to provide financial risk protection against catastrophic health expenditure that impoverishes an estimated 6 crore people every year. The mission aims to provide a cover of rupees 5 lakh/family/year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. With benefits under this cover, we hope that an extension in service is proposed to accommodate dental treatment too!!

The budget allocated for the fiscal year 2018–2019 was 2400 crores and that in 2019–2020 is 6400 crores.[5] This three times' leap emphasizes on the development in the Indian health care. This gives us a hope that in forthcoming years we shall for sure witness the development in the oral health policies and also employment opportunities for the budding dental professionals, which will in turn narrow down the rural–urban gap.


  Conclusion Top


In an enormously diverse cultural and social milieu, providing affordable health for all, is a challenging task, seems an unattainable feat at a glance!! The way forward then, is investing in our health so that we avoid squandering on ailments. It is imperative to impress upon masses that spending on health is an investment not an expense. We as individuals must do our bit in this endeavor.

Oral health policies will not only help in narrowing the rural–urban gap in terms of health care but will also provide dental employment opportunities at the primary health centers.

The lawmakers of our country and we countrymen, are equal partners owning responsibility in shaping and carving an overall healthier India!

In a nutshell, oral health policies in India that would pave a way for health for all is the mantra.

It has been a humble endeavor through this manuscript, to focus light on the pivotal role “investing” in our health has, in our life.

Jai Hind!!

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Census info India 2011. Population Size. Available from: http://www.dataforall.org/dashboard/censusinfoindia_pca/. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 01].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Dental Council of India Registered Dentists. Available from: https://www.dci.gov.in. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 01].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
National Health Profile 2018 for Registered Dentists: Available from: https://www.cbhidghs.nic.in. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 01].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Annexure 1 of Chapter III of the 'Guidelines on standardization of Health insurance business. https://www.irdai.gov.in/ADMINCMS/cms/frmGuidelines_Layout.aspx?page=PageNo3572. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 01].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
National Health Profile. 2019;(14): XIV. Available from http://www.cbhidghs.nic.in/WriteReadData/l892s/8603321691572511495.pdf. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 01].  Back to cited text no. 5
    


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Ameliorating the...
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