Well, the current pandemic did take a heavy toll on almost all countries. Death rate is just the tip of the iceberg, the global ripple effect from the measures taken to prevent it or to ignore it could be the most horrifying thing ever. Bill Gates did point out the vulnerability and how the world isn’t ready to face another outbreak, and he is proved correct.
The pandemic does bring out many loopholes . But what we can learn and change in our system is currently what India needs desperately.
- Public Healthcare
The American private healthcare showed the world how insensitive and inefficient a
complete private institution of healthcare can be. An estimated 0.5 million Americans file for bankruptcy every year due to medical bills. That’s an insane number. This year it is expected to be double.
India, despite having its public healthcare in place needs a lot of work to be done. Public healthcare is poorly funded which our politicians must have realized just this year. Infrastructure is weak, which is the sole reason the government does not want the hospitals to be overwhelmed by any absurd number of cases which the world saw in Italy. India has just 1 government bed for a population of 2000. India has just 40,000 ventilators in government hospitals across the country for a population of over 1.3billion.
India needs to ramp up production of low cost ventilators for our future. The design is publicly available, its just that private companies have exploited it with their overpriced products. We also need to drive more awareness for generic drugs to save on medical bills. Pharma companies are selling commission based overpriced drugs.
Digital Services- The government needs to take a step forward here. Ration card can be digitalized so that migrant workers can avail the subsidies in any state they work. This would have avoided the haphazard migration we saw between Delhi and UP.
Remote Working- This epidemic forced the corporates to learn the work from home culture. More and more companies need to adapt to this culture. This would create a drastic change for a city say Mumbai or Bangalore. Carbon footprint will decrease and eventually there will be less pressure on our public transportation system. More and more job roles could be identified which can remotely worked upon.
The future of education- A recent Time’s survey shows that more than 50% of the Indian college curriculum can be conducted online. Well its high time for our educational universities to shift from their compulsory attendance culture to more online based learning. This would lessen their burden for more infrastructure capabilities and hence more students can be admitted .
Lets hope India brings out a positive change after this disaster and strives for a better and stable economy