Overview of the health care system in India:
The health care system in India has undergone a massive change in its infrastructure & functioning after the nationwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Hospitals can now be broadly segregated into three categories: Covid free hospitals, only Covid hospitals & hospitals having both Covid isolation wards, along with general wards. The hospitals have imposed a thorough screening for outdoor patients who come for OPD consultations. Even for patients availing in-patient treatment, the Covid free hospitals initially arrange for their Covid test before admitting them & starting with their treatment.
The pathological labs & private chambers are following the same procedure. Patients are being provided services only when they pre-book an appointment & come to the centers in their designated time slot.
So overall, things in the health care system are being handled quite efficiently to maintain social distancing & prevent the spread of infection. Super-specialty hospitals have invested in expensive & life -saving equipment & procedures. All these new changes entail additional human power & material costs for the hospitals.
But something that has been a huge setback in this period of crisis is that non-covid patients go through a lot of hassle while seeking treatment. There is media coverage on how often critical patients with life-threatening ailments are being denied admission to hospitals, owing to lack of beds or the hospital’s inability to conduct a Covid rapid-test of the patient before admitting them. This has resulted in a helplessly pathetic situation for the common people.
Also, with the massive rise in the cost of treatment, private hospitals are speculated to be profiteering massively from the pandemic. Although, the hospital authorities say that if they are subjected to tremendous caps on billings, their ability to prepare for the future would be heavily compromised.