While medical equipment may be obtained, skilled personnel are required to operate them. However, there is no credible resource that provides segmented data on personnel and infrastructure. In the absence of such data, tackling emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic becomes impossible.
Posts published in “Healthcare”
India has made remarkable progress against diseases such as polio and has developed an advanced pharmaceutical industry. Yet, much of its population still lacks access to quality healthcare. Freedom Gazette is exploring ideas to plug that gap.
Vaccination should have been easy, given our large production capacities, successful past mass vaccination, and the advanced logistical infrastructure of our election machinery, which could have been used. Instead, even affluent urban Indians are struggling to access an indigenously produced vaccine.
Unlike the U.S., which was criticised for hoarding vaccines with no clear intention to use them all, India was the poster boy of true global integration – sharing its already limited resources with the ones that needed it. But amidst the pride and triumphalism, the Indian government forgot to plan and prepare.
India has the largest percentage of undernourished people in South Asia and is also one of the most undernourished countries in the world. Schemes aimed at nourishment, such as the Food Security Act, have not fulfilled their purpose yet. This is because they are implemented in disconnected silos.
Developing countries want patent protections to be temporarily removed for COVID-19 vaccines and drugs. But this will destroy the incentives that made these vaccines possible in the first place. Pharma companies and global institutions have shown that there are other ways to make medicines affordable.
The Indian healthcare system centralises all major responsibilities on doctors, which has resulted in lackadaisical care, improper diagnosis and improper communication with patients. This is especially painful for elderly patients. Luckily, a solution exists - and it's from the Netherlands.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, India saw 680,000 unsafe abortions, sparking demands to promote telemedicine abortions, which would allow doctors to provide consultations and prescribe pills over the telephone or the internet. However, in India, this practice could have its own side-effects.
In the next ten years, India could account for one-third of the world’s mental illness cases. Yet, only 0.06 percent of GDP is currently allocated to the problem. The Mental Health Care Act 2017 was a step in the right direction, but it needs to be better adapted to India's unique context.
With limited government and insurance spending, most health expenses are paid for by the patients from out of their savings. Worse, 70 percent of India’s healthcare infrastructure is concentrated in just 20 of its top cities. The answer to all this is digitisation.
Police violence during the ongoing lockdown in India is dangerously undermining India's fight against the coronavirus. Liberia's experience with Ebola shows that community involvement is as important as the role of emergency services during a pandemic.