Welcoming the recent cabinet reshuffle where Mansukh Mandaviya was appointed Union Minister of Health, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava called it “dynamic”, adding that so far the health sector was “facing a bipolar goal”.
NITI Aayog member VK Paul stressed that the solution for the pandemic response, whether in the present or in the future, lies in science, begging for greater investment in science.
The two were speaking at a plenary session on ‘Future directive for Covid in India: Public Health Policy’ at a one-day virtual international conference on ‘Covid and Beyond’, hosted by Collaboration to Eliminate Tuberculosis Among Indians and Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhingar.
Emphasizing that due to the pandemic, âhealth has become an important agenda,â said Bhargava, âwe have started to realize what good health isâ¦ and we have a vibrant Minister of Health who has brought us already all met and has a very strong vision. on how the health sector is to be developed because so far it has been faced with a bipolar focus as to whether it should be more government or more private or government … in the sense, both must exist but we have to realize the healthcare pyramidâ¦. “
Paul also added that there is a consensus that “investments in health, public health system, science and technology, health products such as vaccines and biomedicals and drugs are very critical” .
Stressing that viral infections are slowly becoming a common occurrence – with the outbreaks of Zika, MERS, SARS, Nipah – Bhargav warned that Covid-19 is a “wake-up call for all of us”. The probable reasons for these epidemics can possibly be attributed to the fact that the world is “at a critical point where we have played with the environment, the ecosystem, the ecology, there has been rapid urbanization, rapid connectivity with people who travel, but public health remains neglected. and public health spending is insufficient around the world. “