India needs radical reforms in health, education: UN official

India and other developing countries need radical reforms to strengthen health care and education system and universalise them, a senior United Nations Population Fund (NFPA) official said here today.

Updated: May 10, 2010, 23:52 PM IST

Mumbai: India and other developing countries
need radical reforms to strengthen health care and education
system and universalise them, a senior United Nations
Population Fund (NFPA) official said here today.

"The developing countries, including India, need more
radical reforms to strengthen the health and education systems
and financing methods to ensure universal access," Purnima
Mane, Deputy Executive Director, UNFPA and Assistant Secretary
General, United Nations, said while addressing the 70th
convocation of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

"Also, rural and primary heath care needs more attention
as it has been seen that in many countries around the world,
including India, services are still reaching mainly those who
live in cities and towns," she said.

"Wherever people have to rely on out-of-pocket payments
to cover health care costs, exorbitant expenses can lead to
poverty. UN supports a comprehensive primary health care
approach to counteract the fragmentation of health systems,
achieve equity and promote health security.

"A vibrant and vocal civil society, which stands ready to
make services responsive to people`s needs and hold
governments accountable, is indispensable," Mane said.

To accelerate social change in the world, a small but
palpable people`s movement was necessary to put pressure on
policy makers and elected representatives, she said.

PTI