COVID-19 has exposed the inadequacy of the critical care infrastructure in private healthcare and the importance of spending and strengthening public healthcare. In conversation with The Week for 'India's COVID Heroes' edition, Group CEO AMRI Hospitals, Mr Rupak Barua, shared his insights on last year's healthcare scenario and the transformation in the industry within a year. Despite all the technological advancements, the year 2020 has taught us that we lack the proper medical infrastructure to handle the ever-increasing number of critical patients fighting against life-threatening conditions. Both government and healthcare providers had a hard time gathering all their resources to deal with the unprecedented crisis. While the initial months were indeed precarious for the entire sector; the private hospitals invested in procuring large volumes of essential medical supplies, virtual consultancy, PPE's and respirators, and restructured hospital infrastructure to provide quarantine facilities. Taking decisive action at such times helps in overcoming catastrophic exiguous healthcare resources.
In 2021, the vaccination drive has begun with a ray of hope that the government will take more initiative in the healthcare industry for its sustainable growth. This is the right time to work on redundant regulations and complicated structures. We need to focus on preventive care, easy access to health insurance, development of the digital health ecosystem, affordability of healthcare products and services and advancement in public healthcare services. After encountering an unprecedented healthcare crisis, the government needs to refocus on the public healthcare sector to optimize super-speciality care catering to those in need of hospitalization and critical care. In India, the healthcare sector requires a reboot, the government has to create a robust public healthcare system in support of the private sector, shifting the ideology from disease management to health management.
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