A parliamentary committee said on Saturday that private hospitals were overburdened in the absence of beds in government hospitals and the lack of specific guidelines to treat the epidemic amid rising cases of Kovid-19. Along with this, the committee emphasized that many deaths could have been avoided by the permanent pricing process. Ram Gopal Yadav, Chairman, Standing Parliamentary Committee on Health, submitted a report of ‘Outbreak of Kovid-19 epidemic and its management’ to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu.
This is the first report of any parliamentary committee on dealing with the Kovid-19 epidemic by the government. The committee said that in a country with a population of 1.3 billion, spending on health is ‘extremely low’ and the fragility of the Indian health system was a major obstacle to effectively combat the epidemic. The report states that the committee therefore recommends the government to increase its investment in the public health system.
The committee asked the government to make sustained efforts to achieve the national health policy targets of spending up to 2.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) within two years as the scheduled time of 2025 is still far away and public health up to that point Cannot be put at risk. In the National Health Policy 2017, government spending on healthcare has been set at 2.5 percent of GDP by 2025 which was 1.15 percent in 2017.
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The committee said that it was felt that the number of beds in government hospitals of the country was not sufficient in view of the increasing number of Kovid and non-Kovid patients. The report said that due to lack of specific guidelines for the treatment of Kovid in private hospitals, the patients had to pay exorbitant fees. The committee emphasized that there is a need for better partnership between government and private hospitals in view of the lack of government health facilities and epidemics. The committee said that the doctors who laid down their lives in the fight against the epidemic should be recognized as martyrs and their families should be given adequate compensation.