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Why India's for-profit healthcare market can't defeat the Covid pandemic

The country ranks 179th out 189 when it comes to prioritization of healthcare in the government budget.

Family members of COVID-19 patients wait outside an oxygen-filling center to refill their empty cylinders, as demand for the gas rises due to spike in coronavirus cases, at Mayapuri in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)
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Family members of COVID-19 patients wait outside an oxygen-filling center to refill their empty cylinders, as demand for the gas rises due to spike in coronavirus cases, at Mayapuri in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)

Bloomberg Opinion | Anjana Trivedi
India has never been prepared for a public health emergency of the scale of Covid-19. No country has. But the government’s dislocated priorities have left the nation particularly vulnerable. It is now running short of basic infrastructure including oxygen tanks, ventilators, antiviral medication and hospital beds, with hundreds of thousands of new infections being recorded every day. On Thursday, the country added 314,835 cases, the highest daily tally in the world since the pandemic began.
 
Public health spending was dismally low to begin with, at just close to 1% of India’s gross domestic product. The country ranks 179th out 189

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First Published: Apr 23 2021 | 6:36 PM IST

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