‘Pvt. sector can help manage COVID-19’

With Rajasthan registering a steep decline in the number of active COVID-19 cases, health experts here have laid emphasis on evolving a policy for private sector’s engagement in the pandemic management. Public health specialists should also be sent to the rural healthcare system, according to the experts. Following the adoption of the CM’s Chiranjeevi Swasthya Bima Yojana as a universal health coverage measure, the State needs to increase the allocation to the health sector in its budget to more than 8%.

The policy makers should select a “fit-for-purpose strategy” to involve the private sector in COVID-19 management ahead of an impending third wave, P.R. Sodani, president, Indian Institute of Health Management Research University, said here on Tuesday.

The engagement could be in terms of space, staff and systems, Dr. Sodani said. A skilled workforce, use of digital health and regular advisories to the public could also help deal with the third wave. According to the experts, the COVID-19 experience has suggested revisiting the Indian Public Health Standards for district hospitals, community health centres and primary health centres. Dr. Sodani said the government should promote dialogue and collaboration between public and private sectors and develop a long-term strategic framework to strengthen the health systems.

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