Written by Nidhi Karki of Institute of Law, Jiwaji University.
Edited by Shantanu Nemani.
“The best defense against any pandemic is a strong and robust healthcare system”.
Pandemic is always emerging as an inevitable threat of nature, it destroys the life of humans and cannot be prevented by the weak healthcare system. Today the whole world is fighting with the Covid-19 pandemic. As Covid-19 spreads rapidly across the world, the number of people testing positive is increasing day by day. The Coronavirus becomes harmful for everyone and it gives warning to the countries around the world to take a hard look at their health system. This pandemic has changed the world by putting its impact on everyone and everywhere.
In India, due to Coronavirus, the death rate has exponentially increased and the condition is getting worse day by day. Currently, India has a 1.72% death rate and 20.96% active corona cases. It shows the flaw in India’s healthcare system. India is struggling to cope up with healthcare requirements, the growing number of people testing positive and requiring medical facilities are putting pressure on the hospitals and healthcare agencies to treat people properly. India needs to create a robust and better healthcare system to fight with this pandemic. Covid-19 shows the fragile healthcare infrastructure of India. The outbreak of Covid-19 has made the world realize the importance of the healthcare system.
INDIA NEEDS A HEALTH MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
India’s position on the response of healthcare facilities is not good in comparison to other countries. At the very first level, the Indian government should quickly develop its health management system and issue necessary health advisories to people. India needs a health management system that must include public health, universal healthcare, and research. Both government and medical professionals should build a strong health management system that provides better healthcare facilities, meets the requirement of medical resources, setting up more hospitals and clinics, makes healthcare funds, increases social health workers, etc. The Health management system must provide health facilities to people and establish Municipal Corporation funds for maintaining health and sanitation programs. The Indian government needs to upgrade its GDP to spend on healthcare facilities because India’s spending on healthcare is substantially lower than that of most countries. India spends nearly 1.28 percent of its GDP on health, as per the National Health Profile- 2019.
INCREASE SPENDING ON PUBLIC HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
India should emerge as a better healthcare system by focusing on Public health. India should increase public health spending like community doctors, clinics, medical facilities, social healthcare workers, etc. Public health services are always neglected in most Indian states and this is the reason India’s healthcare system is struggling to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. The Indian government needs to upgrade its public health services and take preventive measures to increase medical tools, diagnostic equipment and technology, proper funding, and resource support because controlling infectious diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, and viral infection will be very critical in the future. India’s GDP as public expenditure on healthcare is far lower than countries classified as the ”poorest” in the world. India spends merely 1.29% of the Country’s GDP in 2019-2020 on healthcare. There is an urgent need to increase public health spending and develop better healthcare facilities and resources to cope with future health emergencies.
INVEST IN RESEARCH AND TRAINING
India should emerge as better healthcare facilities by investing in research and training programs so that healthcare agencies and tech firms increase their disease surveillance capabilities and find health-related solutions. Due to lack of access to latest research and medical advancements, the Community Healthcare Professionals (CHPs) are not able to show their inputs at the time of health emergencies while they have the best knowledge of health realities on the ground. This gap is removed with the periodic training program and by providing the latest technology, resources, and medical knowledge to Community Healthcare Professionals (CHPs) to enable better care provided at the primary level.
ESTABLISH A HEALTH DISASTER MANAGEMENT BUDGET
India’s healthcare infrastructure is incapable of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic due to less health and medical advancements. Covid-19 is only one of many epidemics we are likely to see in the coming decades. They will continue to emerge and re-emerge unpredictably. It has a great impact on human life and to cope with these kinds of future pandemics, India needs to establish a separate, long-term health disaster management budget with qualifying care centers across the country. India needs to increase its public health services, hospitals, the number of beds and physicians, medical tools, and medicines. To prevent future health emergencies India must provide intensive training to healthcare workers, paramedic staff, and medics. Today is the time to reinvent the public health services for which the health disaster management budget must be established.
Health is one of the important factors for the socio-economic development of a country. India has adopted different methods to upgrade its healthcare system but still, there is a lack of availability for better healthcare facilities. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the shortcoming and drawbacks of India’s healthcare system and made us realize the necessity of healthcare facilities. India spends a lower percentage of its GDP on health in the world. India should build a strong and efficient healthcare system which provides better health facilities, medical resources, physicians, paramedic staff, medical equipment, etc. India should train its medical staff so that they can cope with future health emergencies. Thus, improving the healthcare system is the only way to deal with a pandemic and in this way, the government should take the necessary steps to improve the healthcare system. Along with this, people have to understand the importance of health and should adopt a healthy lifestyle. Community awareness towards hygiene can put a positive impact to fight with future health emergencies. Covid-19 pandemic taught everyone that healthy life is the only key determinant of human development and it also plays a significant role in the nation’s development.
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