The year 2020 has been really difficult for us. As COVID-19 hit, all our resources were diverted towards providing beds to authorities to handle the pandemic. We saw some major upheavals last year in terms of attrition owing to staff migrating to their home towns etc.
So, this year is going to be all about majorly focusing on recovery. We will have to emerge stronger and make up for all that we lost in 2020. But up until then, all plans for budgetary allocation for any kind of new purchases will have to be put on hold. We first need to gain our ground back and that will be our priority in 2021.
Yes, we are facing second wave of COVID-19. But as a healthcare organization we are ready to combat it with adequate experience to manage it from previous year wave. We can’t neglect the crunch of bed availability but it been well managed in our hospital by timely coordination with war room officials and accommodating COVID-19 patients.
Non-COVID patient revenue was picking up slowly but this wave will impact a lot on it.
Also, surgical patients’ number were steadily increasing post first wave but now again it will decrease. So, we have managed to segregate the separate entry – exit for COVID and non-COVID patients for keeping non-COVID admission numbers constant.
Like we mentioned, the year 2020 has been very challenging. So, there are limited plans for new ventures. Nonetheless, we do have plans for a post COVID care unit that is likely to be functional in 2021.
Also, plans are in the offing for a state-of-the-art GI unit in the coming year. But one of major priorities will be hiring more nursing staff. We faced some crisis during this year as staff migrated to their hometowns immediately once Lockdown was declared.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought in eagerness in the Indian medical system to embrace the digital evolution and healthcare facilities. There has been mass production of innovative medical products along with awareness of diagnosis and diagnostic tests that will help improve the quality of health in the future.
For now, we seem to be doing well in the diagnostic segment. But we need to invest in some robust infrastructure that is technology oriented to benefit the medical device industry. The in vitro diagnostics (IVD) is growing and is expected to record good growth in the coming year.
Last year, COVID-19 related products added `7300 crore. Non-COVID routine diagnostics products went down, but the surge in COVID-19 test and large production of indigenous products will make up for the loss in this year.
India needs more investments in an overarching public health infrastructure. Deaths from contagious diseases in India are much higher than the global average. Lack of strong healthcare resources is another challenge in India. At 3.6 percent of GDP, India’s overall health spending is among the lowest compared with other economies.
Of this, government spending on health accounts for a very low 1 percent. The Health Management Information System (HMIS), which was supposed to plug some of the data gaps is not performing too well. After this COVID-19 crisis, India will need to focus more strengthening its healthcare system to promote health for all. Our resilience to future pandemics will depend on that.