Published on: November 18, 2019

Smriti Rana, Pallium India’s Program Director, writes:

“Free electricity for households that have a patient who is dependent on a life support device.” (Click on the image to enlarge) 

To me, this is an example of providing equity through good governance.

Anyone who has faced a life-limiting illness and its ensuing treatment, understands how financially devastating it can be. This one seemingly simple gesture by the Kerala government is not only wise, but deeply kind. It allows a person to be cared for at home, and not force them into a hospital or a critical care unit and further destroy them. It allows for a patient to be where they belong. And demonstrates a singularly important tenet of universal health coverage – giving them access to health care when they need it, where they need it.

While the document only mentions an oxygen concentrator, we have encountered people who have been able to avail of this provision because they had an air bed that had to keep running 24/7 on electricity for a bed-bound loved one.

Whatever anyone’s political views or opinions, and also taking into account that there may be a few procedural matters to navigate in order to avail this, the fact that this provision exists at all has earned the Kerala government my full respect.

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