According to the Times of India, in 2007 an agency of the Government of India, the National Institute of Occupational Health, tested 126 mine workers for silicosis. The institute later published a research paper that stated that some of the workers tested positive, but has refused to turn over the test results to the workers. In April 2010 (almost three years later) one worker, Roop Lal, requested his report and, upon failure to receive any response to his request, appealed this “denial by silence” to the Central Information Commission of India. The CIC will hold a hearing on March 16.
Meanwhile, Roop Lal and many of his coworkers have been waiting to find out if they have silicosis for almost four years.
In America we have a screwed up health care system that I very much fear is about to get more screwed up. But the American health care system would not deny a person the results from a series of medical tests for a severe chronic illness. No private company would dare because they would be sued and incur massive damages. Unfortunately a government agency cannot be sued in the same way, not in America and not in India.
In our system, the government regulates the health care industry and has oversight of many parts of it, but with a few exceptions does not operate it. Private companies and organizations actually provide the heath care. In my opinion, this miner’s problem in India illustrates why we in America should think hard and long before allowing government to provide healthcare instead of simply regulating it.