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Economic Survey | To enable India to respond to pandemics, health infra must be agile

The healthcare coverage must proceed specializing in its long-term priorities, it says

The ongoing COVID pandemic has showcased how a healthcare disaster can get remodeled into an financial and social disaster and the way it’s inter-linked with different key sectors of the economic system, famous the Economic Survey 2020-21, tabled in Parliament on Friday. It says the healthcare coverage must not turn out to be beholden to ‘saliency bias’, the place coverage overweighs a latest phenomenon. “To enable India to respond to pandemics, the health infrastructure must be agile,” it says.

 

Stating that COVID-19 has unfold worldwide as a result of it’s a communicable illness, the Survey notes that the subsequent health disaster might not probably contain a communicable illness and that India’s healthcare coverage must proceed specializing in its long-term healthcare priorities.

 

“Following the COVID-19 pandemic, a key portfolio decision that healthcare policy must make is about the relative importance placed on communicable versus non-communicable diseases. To enable India to respond to pandemics, the health infrastructure must be agile. For instance, every hospital may be equipped so that at least one ward in the hospital can be quickly modified to respond to a national health emergency while caring for the normal diseases in usual times. Research in building such health infrastructure can guide how to build such flexible wards,” notes the Survey.

Telemedicine potential

It provides that the pandemic has proven us the potential of telemedicine to present healthcare entry in distant areas. “This needs to be harnessed to the fullest by especially investing in Internet connectivity and health infrastructure,” says the Survey, including that the National Health mission (NHM) has performed a essential position in mitigating inequity because the entry of the poorest to pre-natal and post-natal care in addition to institutional deliveries has elevated considerably.

Economic Survey | To enable India to respond to pandemics, health infra must be agile

 

“Therefore, in conjunction with Ayushman Bharat, the emphasis on the NHM should continue,” says the survey.

Information asymmetry

The Survey notes {that a} bulk of the healthcare in India is offered by the personal sector and means that it’s essential for policymakers to design insurance policies that mitigate info asymmetry in healthcare, which creates market failures and thereby renders unregulated personal healthcare sub-optimal.

“Information utilities that help mitigate the information asymmetry can be very useful in enhancing overall welfare. The mitigation of information asymmetry would also help lower insurance premiums, enable the offering of better products and help increase the insurance penetration in the country,” the Survey suggests.

The Survey notes that India’s healthcare coverage must proceed specializing in its long-term healthcare priorities. It notes that nations with extra fragmented health methods have a tendency to have decrease efficiency as mirrored in increased prices, decrease effectivity, and poor high quality.

“Therefore, in addition to providing healthcare services and financing healthcare, a key role for the government is to actively shape the structure of the healthcare market,” it says.

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