THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 18 June 2020 (A prescription of equitable and effective care (The Hindu))

A prescription of equitable and effective care (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2:Health
Prelims level: COVID-19 cases
Mains level: Role of public and private sectors to address the pandemic


  • Medical care has been disrupted by the novel coronavirus. Fear, anxiety, uncertainty and confusion have all overtaken clinical services.
  • The private sector, which delivers the major part of medical services, is now functioning at a skeletallevel and patients have considerable difficulty in accessing medical care.
  • Tamil Nadu has one of the better health systems in the country and has demonstrated that it can provide high quality care through public-private collaboration in the areas of maternity, cardiac and trauma care.
  • As the number of COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu has crossed 50,193, with 576 deaths (June 17), there is a need to pull together the resources of the public and private sectors into a functioning partnership, to provide good clinical care, amelioratesuffering and prevent deaths.

A neglect of the primary task:

  • Until now, the focus of the government has been on prevention of the epidemic through testing of suspects, isolation of cases and institutional quarantine of contacts.
  • Hospitals have focused their efforts on prevention by admitting asymptomatic contacts and mild infections.
  • With the focus on prevention, doctors have been unable to attend to their primary task of providing good clinical care to reduce morbidity and prevent deaths.
  • The majority of COVID-19 infections are mild and resolve on their own.
  • Serious illness occurs in the elderly and........................


Combating fear:

  • Because of the labelling and stigmatisationof those diagnosed with COVID-19, the public are reluctant to come to hospital and may come late or die at home.
  • We need to send out a clear message that hospitals will provide good quality care for COVID-19, at affordable cost and ensuring confidentiality.
  • For this to happen, the government must work with the private sector to make care accessible and affordable.
  • The Tamil Nadu government’s efforts to cap the cost for different levels of COVID-19 care in private hospitals is a positive step.
  • The government should financially assist the private sector by reimbursing basic patient care costs for providing COVID-19 care.
  • Medical staff taking care of COVID-19 patients are anxious that they may acquire the infection and transmit it to their family members.
  • Deaths of hospital staff due to COVID-19 have been reported, although the mortality risk is lower than that of the general population.
  • Medical staff involved in COVID-19 care should be adequately protected with appropriate personal protective equipment, or PPE, and should be trained in infection control and clinical care protocols.
  • They should be encouraged to communicate with a patient and the family within the restrictions.

A wish list:

  • In Tamil Nadu, we should shift the discourse from the focus on prevention and reducing the number of cases to an equal priority for providing COVID-19 care.
  • Every citizen in Tamil Nadu who has serious COVID-19 pneumonia should be able to access high quality care.
  • In order to implement a universal COVID-19 care programme, the government health system should collaborate with private hospitals.

Way forward:

  • all private hospitals which have the potential, should take care of COVID-19;
  • They should be given requisite incentives and subsidies to that end;
  • every patient should be able to access medical care for COVID-19 from a private or public hospital;
  • only patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 pneumonia should be admitted;
  • ICU care should be prioritised for ......................



Prelims Questions:

Q1. With reference to the placenta, consider the following statements:
1. The placenta is a temporary organ that connects the developing fetus via the umbilical cord to the uterine wall.
2. It supplies all the oxygen and nutrients essential for growth of the foetus.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: .................................


Mains Questions:
Q1. Discuss the needs to get the public and ..................................................?