Lack of medical funds poses challenge in fight against COVID-19: Fitch
Continued lack of medical funds and healthcare infrastructure despite additional funding poses challenges in mounting an effective response against the coronavirus outbreak, according to a report. "The continued lack of medical funding and healthcare infrastructure inform our view for the potential epidemic to be worse in India if it is not adequately contained. With 8.5 hospital beds per 10,000 population and 8.0 physicians per 10,000, the country’s healthcare sector is not equipped for such a crisis," Fitch Solutions said.
Moreover, the significant inefficiency, dysfunctioning, and acute shortage of the healthcare delivery systems in the public sector appear to be insufficient to match up with the growing needs of the population, it said.
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Fitch Solutions noted that more than 80 per cent of the population still does not have any significant health insurance coverage and approximately 68 per cent of the Indian population has limited or no access to essential medicines.
"In addition, over the last two decades, the availability of free medicines in public healthcare facilities has declined from 31.2 per cent to 8.9 per cent for inpatient care and from 17.8 per cent to 5.9 per cent for outpatient care, according to a Public Health Foundation of India study," it said.
India has seen its number of cases increase rapidly, it said adding that the number of cases is expected to continue to rise, driving demand for healthcare services.