External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar said in an online conference that India’s health system stands exposed. He blamed the previous governments for the underdevelopment of India’s health sector. India is going through the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation there is extremely critical. Moreover, 4 lakh infections are being detected on a daily basis in India.
S. Jaishankar Calls Indian Health System ‘Exposed’
Speaking with India Inc CEO. Manoj Ladwa, Jaishankar said that India’s healthcare system stands exposed. It is clear that for the past 75 years, India’s healthcare system is underinvested. He also mentioned that this is the reason why the PM was emphasizing on Ayushman Bharat Program. India had reached a stage where the PM really cared for its citizens’ healthcare. Ayushman Bharat is an insurance system through which citizens can get free treatments up to a certain amount in private hospitals. Jaishankar also stated that health is a basic right. People don’t what to know about schemes and programs. All they want are practical answers on the ground.
More could have been Invested in the Health Sector
If the previous governments had neglected the health sectors, there is no proof that the current government has done anything better. Health economist Deepa Sinha commented on the Health budget 2021. She wrote that the health budget has increased from Rs. 67,484 crores (2020-2021) to Rs. 73,931 crores (2021-2022). It has increased about 10 percent this year. She also wrote that the allocation for this year is less than the previous year. However, the Union budget for health should have been doubled this year. It could also be consistently increased in the next 3-4 years for the development of public healthcare sectors.
This is not a blame game: S. Jaishankar
Jaishankar further explained rallies and mass gatherings. He added that India is a democratic country and one can’t not have elections here. Elections are sacrosanct in a democracy. Besides that, he said that this is not a blame game. It is easy to say that gatherings should have been avoided, but it is difficult to implement. He also defended the religious Kumbh Mela that was attended by 90 lakh people, that too with the government’s consent. The farmer’s protest crowd in Delhi was also opposed by some critics. Some people call these events the reason behind the virus explosion in India.
Not the Right Time for Criticism
Reviewing all the criticism, Jaishankar said that he is happy to be a part of a society where healthy arguments on politics take place. However, he said that this is not the right time to blame or criticize someone. This is the time when all should come together as India is facing an existential crisis. Jaishankar is on a four-day visit to the UK. He has gone there to participate in the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers meeting.