Indian politicians, Government hospitals, and COVID Treatment

On 2nd August 2020, the news of the day was Union Home Minister Amit Shah reporting that he has been diagnosed with COVID-19. He immediately shifted himself to Medanta, a private hospital in Gurugram, Haryana. He had ailments like-Diabetes owing to which he falls in the category of being more vulnerable to COVID-19. Further, a team of doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) was sent to Medanta hospital for his treatment.

Similar news included the Union Petroleum Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan joined the Medanta hospital as well after having contracted with COVID-19; BanwarilalPurohit, Governor of Tamil Nadu, whose COVID-19 tests were conducted at Kauvery Hospital, a private facility in Chennai, and later shifted to Apollo hospital, another private entity. In Telangana, State Home Minister Mahmood Ali was admitted to Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, a private Hospital. Many such political leaders have thus chosen to get treatment from private hospitals under special care.

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Image from Odisha Bytes

Why did they not check into government hospitals for adequate treatment, instead? Are the facilities not up to the standards to treat ministers like them?

These incidents confirm what was already known; the poor and sorry state of affairs of the public healthcare system. It furthermore strengthens the undeniable fact that the government hospitals are not as well-equipped and maintained as the private ones. The hospitals run by the State Government lack proper infrastructure and hygiene that must be maintained evermore during this time of the pandemic. The shortage of beds and ventilator facilities is a common problem in many state-run hospitals. A common concern of the patients in the government hospitals is that other diseases are not given equal importance as the COVID-19. Also, there isn’t sufficient staff to treat the patients as well as to maintain all the COVID-19 discipline and norms.

This criticism of choosing private hospitals over government ones by many politicians, who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 leads us to think if they do not trust their government and it’s capabilities of improving the public health care management system. The public health care system is in dire need to get the utmost attention of the State as well as the Central government especially during this herculean time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contributed by Shawgat Ashrafi content writer at Mitti Ke Rang

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