• Simply GenZ

India’s Healthcare System Has Collapsed

In a recent report, the Times of India examined 24 recurring topics from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches in March. Out of 24 topics, the defence was the most mentioned. Health was down at the 21st place.

But a large survey of what voters want, carried out by the Association for Democratic Reforms, showed that health centres and hospitals were the second most important issue, after jobs. Access to drinking water, which directly impacts sanitation and health, was the third most important issue for voters.

There seems to be a surprising disconnect between what voters may want and what the BJP is keen to promise.

It has not always been this way. Over the last five years, healthcare has featured prominently in the BJP’s policy and legislation. It has said and done much less about the other social sector heavyweight, education.

However, some of the party’s most widely marketed schemes were not cast as healthcare programmes, when they in fact were. The Swachh Bharat Mission, the Ujjwala scheme and the Jan Aushadhi scheme, for example, all attend to healthcare needs but were not funded by or run by the health ministry.

All these schemes were started by the previous Congress government but boosted by the BJP.

Although the point we all understand here is healthcare is evolving from an imperative slant to just another political scheme.Even in recent times:

The Biden administration has conveyed to New Delhi that it understands India’s pharmaceutical requirements and promised to give the matter due consideration, observing that the current difficulty in the export of critical raw materials needed to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines is mainly due to an Act that forces American companies to prioritise domestic consumption.

"Today, I spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and pledged America's full support to provide emergency assistance and resources in the fight against COVID-19," Biden said. The Biden administration, which was criticised by many for its slow reaction to the massive medical crisis in India, swung into action to assist India in its fight against the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The internet had taken a whirl with this news, some criticizing Biden and some Of course Modi. What we must concede is no country is compelled to help another, unquestionably during periods of crisis we presume aid and compensation from other nations but again even bi-lateral relations will go so far.

As leaders of a nation, you must keep it first and keep in mind its requirements first. The USA had gone through the double of what we are seeing today or maybe it has even levelled out and our PM was kind enough to help them, but before he should've kept one fact in mind that our nation was also not protected and we were all open to a 2nd wave which is exactly what we are heeding today. Healthcare needs to be a priority, it's treated like a privilege which it is but everyone should have access to it and not only for the sake of political campaigns.

People In India die every single day because they are not equipped to access proper healthcare.

This noble area and profession have been treated as nothing more than some business advertisement.

We are not here to tell you about what Indian Healthcare is, Google can acknowledge that question better. We are here to remind all of you again why India has been claimed "a developing" for ages when you don't even perceive the development.

Movie Theatres, expensive spa treatments, resorts, fancy restaurants and vacations are a luxury, NOT HEALTHCARE!

When will our government cease treating its citizens like liabilities? even cows get attended like assets if you know you know!

But don’t take our word, here are some cases and articles-

1. In a presentation to the 15th Finance Commission on Tuesday, the World Bank is learnt to have flagged “fault lines” in India’s health system that have been exposed due to Covid-19. While acknowledging the “significant progress” made in India’s health system over the years, the World Bank Group on Health, Nutrition and Population is said to have noted in its presentation that there were “large, persistent health gaps among states” and that Covid-19 had exposed those.

2. Despite several healthcare reforms, India remains badly placed to tackle the rapid spread of the coronavirus. “The continued lack of medical funding and healthcare infrastructure inform our view for the potential epidemic to be worse in India if it is not adequately contained. With 8.5 hospital beds per 10,000 population and 8 physicians per 10,000, the country’s healthcare sector is not equipped for such a crisis. Moreover, the significant inefficiency, dysfunctioning and acute shortage of the healthcare delivery systems in the public sector do not match up with the growing needs of the population," it added.

3. More than 80% of the population still does not have any significant health insurance coverage and approximately 68% of the Indian population has limited or no access to essential medicines, “The low level of public spending on health is both a cause and an exacerbating factor accounting for the poor quality, limited reach and insufficient public provisioning of healthcare. Dealing with the covid-19 pandemic has brought out the critical importance of the public sector in health provisioning,".

Judge yourself!

Writer - Hrishita Dev

Illustrator - Lily Tan