Recently PM Modi, on Monday, launched the Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat zyojana worth Rs. 64180 cr. The objective behind the yojna is to work for strengthening health infrastructure across the country.
Under this, a heavy amount is going to be spent over the next 6 years for strengthening and building health infrastructure in India including diagnostic centers, developing primary health centers, and providing other benefits related to medication and treatment to rural populations specifically. It will ensure that the health facilities are near to the people .under this system critical care hospitals will be set up which will look after the emergency patients.
Also, the referral services will be there where if a doctor feels to refer the patient to some other hospital they can do that. It aims at improving both the quality and quantity of the medical facilities. It will ensure that every citizen of the country will get good medical treatment. This is the first time when such a huge package is announced which specially aims at rebuilding the health infrastructure sector in India. One cannot deny the fact that the recent events have shown how the system has failed miserably when it comes to providing health facilities to its people.
This is in addition to the national health mission, specifically targeting health infrastructure in India.
PM Modi inaugurated nine medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh in nine different districts, including Deoria, in the presence of the chief minister Yogi Adityanath, along with other developmental projects in Varanasi, including one international airport in Kushi Nagar.
Brief about the scheme
For quite a while, there has not been enough attention given to the health structure. We have often seen that there has been a huge gap in terms of providing medical facilities in urban areas and rural areas in terms of quality and quantities.
Therefore, more rural population switch to urban areas for medical health due to the absence of facilities in their areas. This creates a lot of problems for the rural population in terms of money, transportation, and bearing other medical expenses. There have been many cases where patients die due to inappropriate medical facilities or no facilities. Many of them could not afford even a decent hospital. Places where medical centers are available lack expertise and doctors and more of them are quacks. Therefore there is a strong need for huge investment in the medical sector to solve such problems and PMASBY aims to do that.
Apart from these developmental projects, a national institution for one health and four national institutes for virology will be established under this scheme.
Recently, a health card was launched by PM Modi which will make every medical history and patient’s information digital and makes the tracking for the institution very easy.
Pandemic and health infrastructure
The recent pandemic has made us realize one fact, which is, how much our health medical infrastructure is weak and how unprepared we were for any kind of outbreak or any disease. Covid has shown how much poor the health infrastructure India has. Inadequate oxygen cylinders, plants, patients died of poor diagnosis, lack of medicines, poor detention centers, and whatnot. The most affected people were the middle-class and the poor ones who died even before reaching the hospitals. Lack of beds is just another addition.
The pandemic has exposed the developed and even more intense challenges for developing countries where basic infrastructure is even missing. India’s medical infrastructure is lacking on many fronts and requires multiple revisions. It raises a very important question – do we have enough facilities to cope with an outbreak? Definitely not.
Post-independence, there have been many health schemes launched claiming that the health sector has been improving but this pandemic has proved that it was all the false claims.
During the pandemic, a major problem which came in front was the lack of detection, shortage of supplies, vaccines, life-saving drugs, lack of health system preparedness and diagnostic centers which resulted in the huge number of people outside the laboratories forming a crowd which is another possible way of transmitting the virus from one person to another.
There has been a huge gap in public health infrastructure, especially in emergency care facilities in both urban and rural India. Also, improved communication and awareness can be a solution for preparedness. The health system overall needs revisions.
In the light of the covid pandemic, this mission or scheme aims at ensuring a system where detection, investigation, prevention, and combat take place together efficiently and effectively in public health infrastructure. However, preparedness is another element that cannot be neglected. A prepared country can deal with the emergency in a better way covering all its population.
Along with this, we need a strong research and development infrastructure. It’s high time we should make the research and development area stronger by allocating more funds and resources.
At the same time, we can hope for better allocation of our resources to those sectors which require more assistance financially.
Through this scheme, no doubt our health infrastructure needed a thorough revision to know where we are lacking especially after the pandemic had been harsh on everyone. This scheme is believed to establish a global system for detecting disease outbreaks as well as talks about proximities for rural people higher than urban. We cannot compensate for death but we can be prepared for any situation which may arise in India.
We need more medical experts, medical front liners, well-equipped machines, supplies, drugs, hospitals, and a system that will ensure that the medical facilities are provided to poor and rural people so that they do not have to switch to other big places for medical assistance.
Our primary health centers should be well equipped with all the necessary infrastructure that will be needed to cater to the rural population. It’s a good step to invest and restructure our health infrastructure however this came after a strong felt need caused due to pandemic and truly we have paid and suffered enough.
Edited by Anupama Roy