Free medicines for all starting in October 2012

Free medicines for all from October

Kounteya Sinha, TNN Jun 23, 2012, 01.51AM IST

NEW DELHI: India’s ambitious policy to provide free medicines to all patients attending a government health facility across the country will be rolled out from October.

Strongly backed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself, the free-medicines-for-all scheme — being referred to as the “real game changer” — has received its first financial allocation of Rs 100 crore from the Planning Commission for 2012-13.

The entire programme, however, is estimated to cost Rs 28,560 crore over the 12th five year plan.

At present, the public sector provides healthcare to 22% of the country’s population.

The ministry estimates that this will increase to 52% by 2017 once medicines are provided for free from 1.6 lakh sub-centres, 23,000 primary health centres, 5,000 community health centres and 640 district hospitals.

The ministry has sent the National List of Essential Medicines, 2011, (348 drugs which includes anti-AIDS, analgesics, anti-ulcers, anti psychotic, sedatives, anesthetic agents, lipid lowering agents, steroids and anti platelet drugs) to all the states to use as reference.

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Confronting a Future of Lost Decades

by Randy Shannon

Two years ago we showed that the current crisis was unavoidable as long as the banks controlled state power in the major industrial countries. In “Japan’s Lost Decades: the US Sequel” the political and economic way out of this crisis was set forth on this blog. This agenda is still relevant and waiting to be fulfilled by popular action.

The US economy has begun a new cyclical downturn. This is the first recession since 1937 that has occurred before a full recovery. As in 1937, part of the reason for this second dip is the growth of political power among the reactionary bankers and the Republican Party. This group has thrown roadblocks in the way of real economic stimulus.

The article below shows that the political leaders and the financial media finally are face to face with the reality that the current course is unsustainable. The central banks cannot break out of their narrow mind-set. Their only solution is to print money and lower interest rates. As bankers, they see the solution as saving the banks at the cost of a stable and prosperous society.

We must move forward with nationalizing the zombie banks, imposing a carbon tax and a financial speculation tax, investing in a green new deal to rebuild and solarize the infrastructure, end the wars and retool the military industrial complex to build mass transportation.

Every day that passes without action is lost. This results in lost lives, lost hopes, and a lost future generation. The graphic of construction employment shows the gravity of the situation.

Central Banks Commit to Ease as Threat of Lost Decades Rises

By Simon Kennedy and Rich Miller
Jun 25, 2012 11:11 AM ET

Central bankers are finding it easier to support their economies than to spur expansion as the prospect of Japanese-like lost decades looms across the developed world.

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