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Q2. The pandemic has made us realize that no single health care system can provide satisfactory answers to all the health needs of modern society. There is a need for an inclusive and integrated health care regime. Elucidate. (250 words)
- The COVID-19 epidemic has become a major public health issue.
- In many sections of the country, the burden of sickness and mortality is continuously rising.
- Several social and economic elements have resulted in disastrous outcomes.
- Effective infection management is still being developed, and efforts are being made to merge conventional therapies with standard vehicles.
- Requirement for an Integrated System:
- The unprecedented pandemic has revealed India's public health sector's flaws and limitations, including a dearth of doctors, beds, emergency equipment, and medicines.
- There is a scarcity of primary health centres (22 percent) and sub-health centres (20 percent), with just 7% of sub-health centres and 12% of primary health centres meeting IPHS standards.
- Doctor-to-Population Ratio: India's doctor-to-population ratio is considerably below the WHO's recommended standard of 1:1,445, resulting in a total of about 1,159,000 doctors.
- Medical Personnel Lack: Data demonstrate that there is a severe shortage of medical and paramedical personnel at all levels of care: sub-health and primary health centres require 10,907 auxiliary nurse midwives and 3,673 doctors, respectively.
- Social Inequality: In India, the increase of health-care facilities has been exceedingly unequal. The country's rural, steep, and distant areas are underserved.
- There is a persistent scarcity of allopathic doctors, including surgeons, ready to serve in rural locations.
- The AYUSH system of medicine is being used in India to provide treatment and alleviate some of the symptoms of COVID-19.
- The AYUSH system is not intended to be a cure; rather, it is used to treat asymptomatic and mild instances of Covid-19, as well as to provide prophylactic (preventive) care.
- Nonetheless, during a pandemic, the role of AYUSH is critical.
- The Ministry of AYUSH has established a dedicated community support helpline to give AYUSH-based approaches and answers to the concerns identified by COVID-19.
- According to the ministry, these specialists will not only provide patients with counselling and viable remedies, but will also inform them about the availability of nearby AYUSH facilities.
- The experts will also advise patients on post-COVID-19 rehabilitation and treatment strategies.
- An integrated framework is needed to find a middle ground that merges the two medical systems while simultaneously allowing for their autonomous expansion.
- In light of the tremendous drive to achieve universal health care that is now underway in the country, medium and long-term strategies for seamless integration should be devised as soon as possible.
- India will be able to address AYUSH's marginalisation and promote its rightful integration into mainstream health care as a result of this.