Written by Deshbhakt Member Anindita Ghoshal
Daily we have 300k cases, hospitals are overwhelmed. Families of patients have to go from pillar to post just to get a hospital bed. Oxygen and other supplements are also lacking. When a common man is struggling for getting basic health supplements, then we must sit and analyze what went wrong?
Yes, we are dealing with corona since March 2020. Can we truly blame our crisis on just one disease and get away with it? There were signs which were showing about the lack of health infrastructure. Let’s go and analyse the reason behind this catastrophe.
GDP spend on health care
Any responsible government will spend their money on social services, out of which the health sector is the most important one. In India, many are pushed into poverty or they cannot afford to treat themselves. They die due to lack of treatment. But the question is why and where do we stand in comparison to other nations in terms of Health Expenditure and how far spending on health can help in developing the country?
Before I tell you about how much India spends on Health Sector, let us see some of the countries and see how much they are spending on health. USA spends 16.9% of GDP on the health sector, Germany spends 11.2% of the GDP on the health sector, France spends 11.2% and Japan spends 10.9%. Amongst the BRIC nation, Brazil spends the most (9.2%) South Africa spends 8.1% Russia spends 5.3% and China spends 5%.
Now let us come to India, India spends 3.6% of GDP out of which the Government spent only 1.26% of the GDP and the rest comes from out of the pocket expenditure. This out of expenditure makes the population push into poverty. Also because of this, we have a lack of health infrastructure which I would explain in the next point.
Lack of Doctors and Beds
The lack of Doctors are not a new concept due to overwhelming patients from covid, rather as per the report published in 2019, it said that India lacked 6,00,000 doctors and 2 million nurses.
Also, WHO in their report said that India exceeds the doctor-patient ratio. In India, there is 1 Government Doctor for every 10,819 patients. Instead as per the WHO guidelines, the Doctor-Patient ratio should be 1:1000 patients.
Now let us get and understand about the availability of beds and total population.
As per the report published by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in the year 2018, India had total 7,39,024 beds available for the population of 1,210,854,977 people . This shows the lack of hospital beds in our country.
Covid exposed our health infrastructure
Already we were sitting on such a scarcity of health infrastructure, then the breakout of Covid 19 in the year 2020 and now in 2021 had exposed our health system. Today we have shortages of oxygen, beds and other supplements. Doctors are doing overtime.
Day by day we are running out of beds. It makes many die without being treated. Everywhere in Twitter and other social media platforms, they are desperately asking for beds. This is what a common man is going through right now. If someone is spared from Corona, it means they are lucky. Even after the desperate calls and attempts, there are many lives that could not be saved because of lack of oxygen.
Set priorities by the Politicians
Recently we have elections in the states of West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. In such a period when our economy is struggling, we have seen negative GDP growth and people are struggling for money. People are jobless, but that money is destroyed in election advertisement and campaigning.
While they were campaigning they forgot about the virus and its contamination. Many were seen without masks and social distancing was ridiculed. But politicians were busy in playing with the gallery.
Another event happened which was a super spreader when we were recording 3 lakh cases daily, but in Uttarakhand, Kumbh Mela was going on. Lakhs of people went there and took the dip in the holy water. But it was not cancelled because if they would be banned or postponed they might lose the vote bank, hence it was affordable to let people die.
We have been exposed to our apathy
Of late we have been catching the attention of international media. The overloaded pyres on the cremation ground and burial had exposed our apathy. It is advised not to trust international media as they are desperate to create hype. While people on the ground are struggling, life is uncertain. Then there are some people who are asking to be positive and it is not to be worried about. If this is not to be worried about then what will?