ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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An Opportunity to Invest in Equitable Public Health Systems

The COVID-19 Crisis

India’s public health system has struggled to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. Even before the pandemic, India’s public health infrastructure was inadequate with only 0.55 beds per 1,000 population, while out-of-pocket expenditure was pushing almost 63 million people back into poverty, as a large number of healthcare positions lie vacant across the country. Faced with a growing disease burden, India’s public health system is in dire need of investment and the COVID-19 crisis is the perfect opportunity to back this policy decision with political will.

Early in the lockdown, India had relative control over curbing the potential spread of COVID-19, and may have prevented as many as five times more cases in April in a scenario without a lockdown (Dwivedi et al 2020). However, some states have succeeded more than others. Among larger states, Kerala and Odisha have performed relatively better for varying reasons like an efficient public health system and timely response, respectively. However, as experts are suggesting, the peak of the spread may likely still be in the future, with our public health systems being strained to full capacity.

Health System’s Response

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Updated On : 28th Mar, 2021

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