Bengaluru, Nov 5: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges and reminded us about the importance of healthcare. It had wreaked havoc across the world causing death and destruction.
An engaging discussion on “Post-pandemic Shift – How to prepare better for the next health crisis” was conducted on the sidelines of GIM at Palace Ground in Bengaluru on Friday.
Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education Minister Dr Sudhakar and Dr Devi Shetty, Chairman and Founder, Narayana Health took part in the panel discussion. Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, WHO participated virtually. The session was moderated by senior journalist. The speakers shared their perspectives on the challenges in the health sector and the opportunities for the entrepreneurs in augmenting the health infrastructure, production of drugs, vaccines and medical equipments.
Dr Sudhakar said Covid taught many lessons that pushed the government to augment health infrastructure in the state. The minister added that the government recruited more healthcare professionals, increased ICUs and trauma care centres and upgraded healthcare facilities, public health centres to help poor patients.
He said the state has one doctor for every 800 people which is best in the country and added that five new medical colleges would be coming up in Karnataka. The minister wanted the government and private health sector to work together to provide affordable healthcare services to the people.
Dr Devi Shetty highlighted the critical issue of shortage of nurses in the private hospitals and how the burned out nurses and other medical professionals are quitting jobs following global pandemic. He sought government ‘s help to address the problems faced by private hospitals. Dr Shetty criticised the western media and agencies for exaggerated death count in India due to Covid and praised the efforts of central and state governments in handling the health emergency.
Dr Soumya stressed on the importance of healthcare system and the attention it deserves. She said investing big in healthcare is crucial for a healthy nation. She also emphasized on improving public healthcare system, health infrastructure, production of medicine and medical equipment to help vulnerable sections.