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The Struggles of India’s Health Infrastructure!

The impact of the pandemic and the lockdown it triggered is clearly visible in every country around the globe; however, some countries are more affected than the others and India has become one of them. Based on the assessments made by several analysts and industry experts, it was predicted that, if the numbers of coronavirus cases keep increasing, then after a certain point, the health industry of India will face a huge crisis to treat the infected patients. 

As forecasted, India is running out of hospital beds amid the major crisis, creating a fragile health infrastructure and an alarming situation for the country. Officials in India’s two largest cities – the capital New Delhi and financial hub Mumbai, have reported an alarming shortage of space in hospital intensive care units (ICUs) and general wards.

Even after the rise of private sector hospitals and clinics to support the government during this unprecedented pandemic, the situation isn’t getting better. It is rather going forward in the direction of what was predicted and may be far worse than that.

Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the capital of India will have more than half a million COVID-19 cases and it does not have the hospital capacity to handle such an outbreak. He also stated that the city will need 80,000 hospital beds to tackle the spike. 

Sisodia’s warning came as harrowing accounts of people struggling to get a hospital bed in New Delhi emerged, including some who said their loved ones died on the doorsteps of medical centres that refused to take them in.

Aniket Goyal, a university student in New Delhi, said his grandfather was refused admission in six government-run hospitals last week because the facilities said they had no beds even though a government app showed that beds were available.

When his family went to the city’s private healthcare facilities, they found the daily cost of treatment so high, they withdrew. The family filed a public interest petition in court seeking its intervention.

The court set a hearing for the following week by which time the 78-year-old man had died. “He was dying in front of our family every minute; we could not do anything,” Goyal said

“Delhi’s health system is broken,” said Indian National Congress MP Manish Tewari. Mumbai city is the other coronavirus hotspot.

A leading official in India’s financial capital said that the city’s hospitals had just 30 ICU beds left.

Hospitals reject COVID-19 patient due to lack of beds as coronavirus cases explode in India. There is a major lack of information, proper medical facilities, testing facilities, equipment, and even the availability of PPE kits for the frontliners.

Not to forget, the sky-touching cost of treatment is a whole another issue. There are many cases where the families of the patients are not given proper information about the ongoing treatment of the patient.

Neither are they allowed to meet them for days, nor are they informed about their placement in the hospital.

This chaotic situation has arrived also because of lack of authority, responsibility and structural planning.
With no beds in hospitals, bodies lying next to patients, India’s health system struggles to tackle pandemic as cases arise.

What’s even more worrying is that a few health experts said that the country’s coronavirus peak could still be weeks away, if not months.

By Karishma Gwalani

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