Is India’s public health system prepared to tackle coronavirus?

After 11000 corona deaths across the world, India faces the real threat of the deadly virus with more than 415 positive coronavirus cases, more than 85 cities in India face a lockdown

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NH Web Desk

After 11000 corona deaths across the world, India faces the real threat of the deadly virus

With more than 415 positive coronavirus cases, more than 85 cities in India face a lockdown

All eyes are on India’s public healthcare system as to whether it is equipped to handle an emergency.

The picture is not very encouraging when we look at the number of hospitals and testing centres in the country

Number of hospitals, public healthcare centres, doctors and nurses and number of hospital beds all give a scary picture

India had roughly 26,000 government hospitals, which include those run by the central, state and local governments

If we divide this number with the 1.25 billion population of the country, then for every one lakh people there are two hospitals

In India there is one hospital per 47,000 people

For every one lakh population, Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh had 16 and 12 hospitals respectively.

Bigger states with sizeable population have below national average hospitals per one lakh population.

Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, MP, Delhi, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh account for 21 per cent of the country’s population.

In these states, hospitals per lakh population did not cross even one.

In Andhra Pradesh, for every two lakh people, there was one hospital.

One hospital was available for every 1.6 lakh people in Maharashtra, 1.56 lakh people in Madhya Pradesh

There is only one hospital for 1.54 lakh people in Delhi, 1.37 lakh people in Gujarat and 1.19 lakh people in Chhattisgarh.

The national average is one hospital per 47,000 people.

The number of doctors also showed a similar picture.

Data shows there is just one doctor for 10,700 people in India

Apart from hospitals and doctors, the per capita availability of basic hospital infrastructure is also low.

The pressure on skilled professionals was too high in government hospitals.

The total number of registered nurses and midwives show that there is one nurse for every 610 people.

The number of beds was also acute in comparison to India’s population.

Around 7.13 lakh beds are available in India’s 25,778 government hospitals.

This means there are hardly six beds for every 10,000 people.

The figures show that Indian health system is just not prepared to handle the corona crisis

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