The surge of covid-19 cases in India this year has overwhelmed their hospitals. The number of infections peaked at over 60 thousand per day in April (JHU).
The Worldometer provides the latest update on India’s covid-19 infections, recoveries, and deaths.
As of writing, India reached over 30 million covid cases, 390 thousand deaths, and over 20 million people recovered from covid-19.
Data shows how disasters such as the Covid-19 can have massive impacts on a country that lacks adequate preparation and infrastructure.
Stat News describes India’s situation through their headline, “India’s Covid-19 catastrophe reflects years of neglecting its health system.”
People were waiting outside hospitals because there were no longer beds nor oxygen available for them.
According to the Mint article, “Wake-up call for India’s healthcare infrastructure,” the pandemic has shown that India’s healthcare system lacks multiple fronts and calls for a rework by all stakeholders. Government expenditure on health, demand-supply mismatch, and chronic shortages are just some of the problems.
The problem lies in India’s health infrastructure being underfunded, understaffed, and lacking critical hospital supplies and equipment highlighted during the surge of pandemic cases. According to the article, data shows that for every 1,000 patients, India has 1.4 beds, one doctor, and one nurse.
Also, India’s capital spending on its healthcare infrastructure is too low.
Data from the World Health Organisation shows that India only spends 1.8% of its GDP on healthcare, and this percentage is much lower than other countries like the US who spends 16% of its GDP on healthcare.
Other countries like Japan, Canada, and Germany spend over 10% of their GDP on healthcare. However, according to the article, India’s 2020-21 budget shows that the government will increase its spending to 2.5 to 3% of its GDP, which is a good step in the right direction.
The World Health Organisation’s data on countries’ healthcare spending worldwide places India near the bottom, ranking 184 out of 191 countries.
According to the Mint article, the quality of a country’s healthcare impacts productivity, worker turnover when workers’ poor health conditions affect their mental and physical health. Lower productivity and efficiency, on the other hand, lead to slower economic growth and income generation.
Stat reports that a 2017 study by the Public Health Foundation of India found that health expenses pushed 55 million Indians into poverty between 2011 and 2012. Almost 90% of its poor population has no access to health insurance.
Economic growth, productivity, and its citizens’ physical and mental health, well-being, and freedom from poverty are some of the reasons why the country needs to fix its public health care infrastructure.
The Mint article suggests an all-encompassing public health care system or a regulator who can work with the states and shift the focus on healthcare affordability, increasing the number of healthcare professionals, well-equipped facilities, disease prevention, and reducing resource inequities across the country.
Integrating asset management into India’s healthcare system can help it achieve the above goals to provide consistent quality healthcare and facilities to all its citizens.
Through the help of asset managers and professionals, India’s healthcare systems can create asset management strategies and detailed asset management plans.
AkitaBox’s article, “How a Hospital Asset Management Plan can Improve Quality of Care,” explains that an asset management plan will help hospitals maintain regulatory compliance, assess risk, reduce operation costs, and improve operational efficiency.
Healthcare systems consist of public and private health services containing massive amounts of systems, assets, and medical equipment needed to run the healthcare facility.
An asset management plan can help ensure that critical systems, equipment, and facilities are maintained, tested, and always kept in reliable working conditions most efficiently and cost-effectively.