Note Ban May Exacerbate India’s Public Health Crisis
A spate of deaths due to hospitals refusing to accept invalid currency notes has come to attention after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement invalidating 86% of India’s currency on November 8.
Unlike government-run hospitals, private hospitals have not been allowed to use defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, potentially affecting 58% of Indians in rural areas who opt for private healthcare (68% in urban areas), according to National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data.
In Noida, an infant died after union minister Mahesh Sharma’s Kailash Hospital reportedly asked for an advance of Rs 10,000 and then refused to take old currency notes.
An 18-month old baby died in Visakhapatnam as the parents didn’t have money to buy medicines, and a year-old infant in Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh, died after reportedly being denied treatment by a local private doctor as his parents didn’t have money to pay for his treatment.
- Health Care