The year 2020 will be remembered for the struggle done by even the most progressive nations who stood on a losing ground in the battle against Coronavirus. The global tally as on June 24 showed a total of 93,69,227 cases with 475,880 deaths worldwide. The United States occupies the first rank in this unfortunate statistics with more than 24,24,492 cases; India reported 4,56,552 on June 24th . The bad news for us is that the nation surpassed the United Kingdom (UK) on June 11 to become the fourth most affected country.
In this dark hour, the only ray of hope in India has been the success stories from states like Punjab for registering nearly 90% recovery rate. Mohali, Sangrur, Firozpur, and Moga, the four districts of Punjab, have already gaining COVID-free status. The state witnessed a doubling period of 22 days on May 31 in contrast to the national doubling period of 14 days for COVID-19 cases. The neighbouring state Haryana has a doubling rate of 8 days as on June 11. And even when the cases are increasing at an exponential rate all over India, Punjab continues to succeed in containing the spread and managing the Covid-19 cases owing to its massive healthcare infrastructure and medical potential. Even the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister of India, Dr Harshvardhan applauded the state government’s efforts ad unique approach.
- Success of Public-Private Partnership Model: The presence of world-class facilities and equitable distribution of health services all across the state by both government and private hospitals needs to be credited for this. In just a few days’ time, the state increased its testing capacity to 1,392 per million against the national average of 1,243. The state roped in the government of India institutions like IMTECH & PGI and some Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved private labs to quicken the pace of testing. This encouraged the private healthcare sector giving them an opportunity to grow as the support system of public healthcare mechanism.
- All set to be the Medical Hub of India: The state expanded and enhanced the healthcare system within no time; nearly 2200 beds have been made ready all across the state along with more than 300 ventilators for acute cases. The way state leveraged public-private partnership model to combat the challenge will not only attract more foreign institutions to set up their hospitals and healthcare organizations in the state; it would also position Mohali as the emerging medical tourism hub of North India. This would strengthen the odds in favour of Punjab and its planning of 250-acres Medicity in Mohali. Big brands like Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Max Healthcare, Chaitanya Super specialty Hospital, Grewal Eye Institute, have already reserved their place in this dedicated healthcare park.
- Abundant Skilled workforce: While other states have been struggling with the notion of rebooting their health infrastructure, Punjab reaped the benefits of investing and sustaining a world-class public health infrastructure in last 10 years. The presence of skilled human resource in Punjab is another reason behind this success story. The state deployed nearly 44,682 qualified doctors with their highly skilled staff work as frontline medical warriors. Their committed and smart efforts have further caused a boomerang effect in catching the attention and appreciation of global health institutions and brands.
- Emergence of Digital Technologies in Healthcare: How Punjab’s entrepreneurial spirit has capitalized on the opportunities during pandemic is exemplary in itself. Punjab government was the first one to launch the COVA App on March 10, 2020 offering the users maximum details of all the nearby hospitals. Its leading hospitals have already led the bandwagon of telemedicine. People have been made conscious of their health and wellness through digital media awareness campaigns. Digital platforms have been used smartly to amplify positive actions and ultimately guide the user towards preventive care. The same digital media technologies have been used to schedule medical consultations. The healthcare industry of Punjab has successfully adopted the smart technologies and the trend will consolidate further in times to come.
- Exploiting New Opportunities in Health Sector: Post surgery care has been a grey area in India but thanks to this pandemic, people are now ready to invest in healthcare and nursing during the recovery period. The demand for in-home nurses and attendants have increased significantly in last few months as the elderly opted to avoid visiting the hospitals. The opportunity in this segment has been duly milked by healthcare organizations of Punjab. There has been a significant increase in the number of organizations and healthcare brands offering comprehensive medical and nursing care at home.
The battle is long and Punjab’s healthcare industry seems well prepared. Even though the threat and deadly repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic are far from over; yet nothing should stop Punjab and its healthcare industry to celebrate this small victory!