Although farmer deaths may seem to occupy the front pages and headlines as per the data recently collected by the National Crime Record Bureau is also known as NCRB, health related issues and sicknesses are the second biggest cause of suicides after family problems all over the world.
As per the data presented by NCRB in the year 2016, several kinds of diseases and illness were the cause of eighteen percent of all the suicides that were registered in the year 2016. Apparently, the major cause of suicides is considered to be bankruptcy or indebtedness which accounted for only 1.8 percent of suicides.
According to various experts, there is an immediate need for the Indian government to push and increase the total expenditure that is spent on public health, carve a robust policy for health so that the health care services affordable and at the same time spread awareness and proper measures to prevent such incidents. On the other hand, the existing policies are centred on issues related to farmers’ debts are such issues are of national importance
Amit Sen Gupta who is a co-convener of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, a public health advocacy movement said that resources along with significant policies for public health are needed to expand and evolve the sector of public healthcare. Sen Gupta also pointed out the lack of awareness for various diseases especially chronic ones, mental sickness as well as the absence of healthcare departments and facilities to cater the burden caused by diseases.
Reasons for Suicides:
In Indian states like Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, which witness the rate of farmer suicides as high as thirty percent also account for a prominent number of deaths by suicides due to health related problems. Another important fact to be noted is that while the suicides in these states due to indebtedness and bankruptcy is only five percent, sickness and health issues account for the major number of suicides which is 26.2 percent in Andhra Pradesh and 21.5% in Maharashtra.
As per the research data Punjab, Andaman and Nicobar, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Kerala also account for a high share of suicides due to illness and bad health condition.
According to various experts, suicides are not merely related to a person’s own illness. Sickness and poor health problems also account for a lot of pressure emotionally and financially for the family. Sharma further said “While the out-of-pocket expenditure is high, often it leads to depression and mental illness resulting in suicide," says Nandini Sharma, a visiting homoeopath to the President's Estate. She added patients who are suffering from critical diseases or elderly persons suffering from diseases usually find themselves a liability and burden for the family. Our healthcare policy should be inclined to create awareness and facilities to take care of such patients."
Suicides due to Health Illness:
During the year of 2016, the major cause of suicides contributing to seven thousand one hundred and four deaths was due to various mental illnesses. However, various other critical diseases like Cancer, AIDS, and paralysis were also a significant cause of suicides. As per the d2
ata, five hundred and eighty-two suicides were because of cancer; Aids caused two hundred and thirty-three deaths, and paralysis was accounted for four hundred and eight suicides.
According to Sen Gupta, the respective estimates besides being conservative clearly indicate the amount of people who have zero accessibility to the treatment.
The expenditure on the health sector by the government of India has been questioned and criticised by several international organisations and agencies as it still is one of the most disappointing performances regarding health and its care as a member of GDP along with the terms of providing services which are centred on public healthcare. The major population of India including both urban and rural areas still prefer private hospitals over the government.