India’s latest dengue outbreak ought to ring alarm bells again
The country’s health-emergency preparedness remains inadequate
Did India’s political leaders learn anything from its deadly second wave of covid? Hospitals in the capital, New Delhi, are once again overwhelmed with patients and the health authorities don’t have enough beds for them. The disease has changed—dengue, not covid—but the dysfunction remains the same. For a country that wants to be the pharmacy to the world, its own health system is notoriously bad. With some of the lowest government spending of any nation, public hospitals are overcrowded and inaccessible. The multitude of private facilities are out of reach for most citizens. India’s courts were forced to intervene earlier this year to address inequities in hospital oxygen supplies, while state and federal authorities fought among themselves over procurement and citizens died in autorickshaws gasping for breath.
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