In this COVID-19 Special Series episode, Public Health Doctor, Sylvia Karpagam talks about how people with pre-existing health conditions are coping with the limited medical access brought on by the lockdown in India.
“We have noticed severe problems in the health sector earlier, like the absence of proper facilities. For every requirement, people were traveling to the taluk-level hospitals or to Bangalore. At the village-level now, many don’t know where to go during and public transport is one big problem. We are noticing people suffering because of the low food and medical facilities.”
The Victoria and Bowring Hospitals used to be visited by out-of-city patients for emergency services but now these hospitals are being used for COVID-19 cases. “And the concern is about people with other health issues – where are they going for treatment, what is happening to them? What treatment is being provided for HIV, TB, and dialysis patients is the question. PLHIV will have other health issues as well so where will they be treated, what support is being given to them? Many are not able to access any heath facility at all. My question is, why can’t the Government use private hospitals for COVID-19 treatment?”