Over the last year, we have seen the government make determined efforts to address gaps in the healthcare infrastructure. This edition of ‘Impact at Scale’ is a 2-minute read on the roadblocks to realizing the impact of these efforts.
- Manufacturing and procurement of lifesaving medical equipment have grown multi-fold (40x !) in response to COVID-19. Where are the skilled biomedical device repair and maintenance professionals to keep this infrastructure running?
- ~35% of lifesaving medical equipment is not functional for need of repair or maintenance at any given time. Lack of reliable sources of electricity and clean water, especially in the rural areas, means that they break down often.
- Technologically advanced device infrastructure needs skill and expertise to be installed, operated, maintained, and repaired. Without trained personnel, investments made will not have the desired result – reducing avoidable death and suffering.
- To ensure the benefits of this upgraded infrastructure reaches our population, we need to train and deploy 150,000+ biomedical technicians and engineers.
- To deliver healthcare equitably and increase our capacity to withstand future medical catastrophes at every level, this cadre needs to be built in every district and not concentrated in urban centres.
- To learn from the COVID pandemic, factors that led to points of failure, such as incorrect usage of BiPAP ventilators, need to make their way into the curriculum.
If we want to improve the healthcare indicators of our country at scale, having a trained workforce to manage and maintain the infrastructure is essential. This is an opportunity to create many new, decent, and resilient livelihoods.
“One of the biggest myths in medicine is the idea that all we need are more medical breakthroughs, and then all of our problems will be solved.”
— Quyen Nguyen
I look forward to new perspectives and ideas from you – feedback is the breakfast of champions!
Until the next time,
Dr. Gayathri Vasudevan
P.S. Upjeevika’s webinar on social innovation to build new and resilient livelihoods in telemedicine was held on the 21st of October, 2021 at 01:00 PM IST. For a recording of the webinar, please register here and we’ll send you a recording.