Hon. Amar Patnaik, UNITE Chapter Chair for India, published this week a book that sheds light on the healthcare system in India and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on it. When asked about the importance of the book for public health, Hon. Patnaik explained that it provides a real-life account of how the public healthcare system in India adapted and evolved during the pandemic. The book also identifies existing gaps in the system that need to be addressed to ensure a more resilient public healthcare system.
Hon. Patnaik’s motivation for writing the book stems from the realization that the COVID-19 crisis highlighted the lack of adequate healthcare infrastructure in India to meet the demands of a full-scale public health response. He expressed concern about the financial burden that healthcare costs place on the poor, which accounts for more than 40% of their earnings. Hon. Patnaik argues that access to healthcare should include both infrastructure and human resources, and that “state-specific interventions require customizing health infrastructure as well as tailoring the technical capacity of human resources“.
In his book, Hon. Amar Patnaik emphasizes the importance of the public sector in providing “cost-effective healthcare services that are utilized by citizens”. He also stresses the need for a sensible testing and tracing roadmap and designing methods for vaccination in times of emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he cautions that “even in extraordinary times, the laws must not fall silent”.
Hon. Amar Patnaik, UNITE Chapter Chair for India, points out
“One of the key goals of a health system is to protect populations from large financial risks associated with healthcare. Health infrastructure is the foundation to deliver an effective health system response to the delivery of health services”