Jan Swasthya Abhiyan urges government to boost public health spending

The JSA also called for increasing the supply of vaccines and making distribution equitable. File   | Photo Credit: DEEPAK KR

The government has been evading its responsibility for the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and should fulfil its obligations by boosting public health spending and increasing vaccine supply, among other steps, a group of civil society organisations under the umbrella of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA) said on Monday.

“The Central government failed to anticipate this second wave, or make any preparations for it, despite having the clear experience of many countries before it,” the statement read.

It added that there was a need for a “quantum jump” in public expenditure on healthcare and expanding infrastructure and human resources. The statement said the government should reverse all decisions of privatising government hospitals and review health insurance schemes to expand services.

The JSA called for comprehensive regulation of private healthcare, including “rates of services, quality of care, treatment practices and patients’ rights.” It also demanded that GST should be removed from all medicines and medical devices for COVID-19.

“The crisis in oxygen supply requires not only improved manufacture and logistics, but also increased in-hospital oxygen plants and the widespread introduction of oxygen concentrators,” the statement said.

It also called for increasing the supply of vaccines and making distribution equitable.

“The government made a huge mistake in scaling back measures for health systems strengthening that it had announced in the first few months, once the first wave passed. This left the whole nation vulnerable to the second wave catastrophe that followed. This can easily be repeated, and a third wave will become inevitable unless the courts, all democratic institutions, scientists, health movements and people are vigilant,” it said.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 3:08:36 AM |

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