NEW DELHI :
AMID rising COVID-19 cases, inadequate beds in Government hospitals and absence of specific guidelines for COVID treatment resulted in private hospitals charging exorbitant fees, a parliamentary panel on Saturday said, asserting that a sustainable pricing model could have averted many deaths. Chairperson of the parliamentary standing committee on health Ram Gopal Yadav submitted the report on ‘Outbreak of Pandemic COVID-19 and its Management’, to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu.
This is the first report by any parliamentary committee on the Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Underlining that healthcare spending in the country with a population of 1.3 billion is “abysmally low”, the panel said fragility of Indian health ecosystem posed a big hurdle in generating an effective response against the pandemic.
“The committee strongly recommends Government to increase its investments in the public healthcare system and make consistent efforts to achieve the National Health Policy targets of expenditure up to 2.5% of GDP within two years as set time frame of year 2025 is far away and public health cannot be jeopardised till that time schedule,” the report stated.