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'Looking at the number of patients on ventilators currently and the growth rate, there is no shortage of ventilators right now'

India is rapidly moving towards a multidisciplinary health system: Arun Singhal

NEW DELHI : The availability of doctors amid the unprecedented crisis in India has emerged as a major challenge due to the dual disease burden—the covid-19 pandemic, as well as existing ailments requiring medical care. Singhal spoke about human resources for healthcare, budgets, ventilators, personal protection equipment (PPE), and the impact of covid-19 on medical education in India. The government of India has opened its purse strings to ensure there is no shortage of funds to combat this national health crisis. Significant investments, to the tune of ₹15,000 crore for “India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package" have already been announced. The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has been continuously studying the spread of covid-19 and recommending the optimal testing strategy. While the number of laboratories and test kits is being increased steadily, current trends and our success in reducing the rate of transmission indicate that our strategy is working well. However, junior and senior residents, as well as final-year MBBS students, are continuing to serve and constitute an integral part of our workforce to combat the disease. Even before the first case in the country was detected, the ministries of health and textiles got together to engage with domestic manufacturers to start producing them locally. As soon as exports from major manufacturers started resuming in the last week of March, we approached several foreign aggregators through the ministry of external affairs to supply PPE kits to us. The specifications have been conveyed to state governments also, and they have been requested to ensure that any procurement at their level must also confirm to the Union health ministry’s quality standards.

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