- The healthcare infrastructure and resources provisioned in the country in general as well as the State of Karnataka has come under the microscope primarily for failing to ramp up the inadequate facilities when it mattered most. As all are aware, the stringent lockdowns were enforced to tie up the loose ends so obviously visible in the healthcare sector and be prepared to face an anticipated deluge of infected people. What followed as the lockdowns saw successive extensions need not be reiterated yet again.
PC: Health it Security
- As compared to other States, the Karnataka Government to its credit did wonderfully well in the first few weeks in not only containing the spread of the virus but also assiduously managed to set up COVID Care Centres and fever clinics to tackle the rapid surge. The script went wrong the moment Unlock guidelines were implemented as the sudden movement of people from heavily infected neighboring States started pouring in from across the borders.
- Call it taking the foot off the pedal or allowing complacency to set in or failing to anticipate the spike, the inadequacy of healthcare infrastructure was brutally rendered bare when the virus spread rapidly all around. As the infected numbers rose alarmingly, the Government Hospitals were unable to accommodate the deluge, and hence frantic moves to co-opt private hospitals ensued. Despite fixing treatment rates for hospitalization, the private hospitals were far from being accommodative towards infected people irrespective of Government diktats.
PC: economic times
- Thus, the people’s confidence in the efficacy of Government Hospitals took a severe beating and hence, lost confidence what with horror stories of lack of beds, lesser number of ventilators, non-availability of ambulances, eternal wait for admission and treatment, pathetic hygiene standards, substandard food being served, and general apathy shown by overworked healthcare professionals, and similar such issues consistently highlighted by the uninterrupted coverage on the news channels.
- What was being hailed as a success story the way Government handled initially turned overnight as things started falling apart in no time. Though Government authorities did arrest from complete breakdown with timely action by strengthening the various departments under Senior Ministers, optics presented to the general public was quite contrary. Instead of reasserting the proficient functioning of Government Hospitals, few of the infected Ministers checked into private hospitals for treatment.
PC: India Today
- The Chief Minister as well as the Leader of the Opposition chose renowned private hospitals for treatment furthering cementing the view about lack of confidence in the functioning of Government hospitals. Come to think of it, even the morale and motivation of healthcare professionals would have taken a beating by such open preferences. However, here comes a silver-line for the Government hospitals as the infected State Health Minister has chosen State-run Bowring Hospital for treatment.
- This move by the Minister will go a long way in restoring the confidence of the general public as well as boost the morale of healthcare professionals in no small measure. Kudos to the Minister! If only everybody follows suit!