Education Informal - Public Affairs, opposes service tax on Healthcare
On the 12th of March 2011, Education Informal - Public affairs participated in the campaign initiated by Dr.Devi Prasad Shetty, against the proposed service tax on health care by the Government of India.
In the times of increasing death rates through health hazards, it is necessary for people to undergo quality yet affordable health care.
1.Our Government spends less than 1% of the GDP on health care. The only major Asian nation which spends less than our Government is Pakistan. Even the Governments of sub-Saharan Africa spend more for health care than us.
2.80% of the health care cost of the nation is paid out of public pocket with hard earned money.
3.Today, almost 90% of those in need of tertiary treatment die a slow and painful death because they cannot afford surgical treatment. The remaining ten percent of the people who can afford end up spending a better part of their life's savings for treatment.
4.Even poor villagers who pay 5 to 10 rupees per month for micro-health insurance must pay 10% service tax. Service tax on health insurance will only make health insurance unaffordable for the 'Aam Aadmi'.
If heart attack or cancer has to be prevented and undergo preventive health check up has to be undergone, one will have to pay an additional Rupees 500 to the Government. This is the best disincentive to people willing to consider preventive health check up. Health care cost is the commonest reason for the rural indebtedness. One sick person of a middle class family can bring the entire family down below the poverty line perpetually.
In such a situation imposing service tax for health care would cause more burden on people in particular "aam admi". Education Informal, an NGO working in the field of Education and Public affairs submitted a petition to the Governer of Karnataka, Hansraj Bhardwaj to recommend the Government of India to roll back the proposed service tax.
Media coverage on the campaign (click here for full news item)