Global Health Security Index 2021

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    • Global Health Security Index 2021 was jointly released by non-profits Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

    About Global Health Security Index 2021

    • It is the first comprehensive assessment and benchmarking of health security and related capabilities across 195 countries.
    • The GHS Index aims to spur measurable changes in national health security and improve the international capability to address one of the world’s most omnipresent risks: infectious disease outbreaks that can lead to international epidemics and pandemics.
    • It was first launched in October 2019.
    • Revised framework: The findings of the GHS Index 2021 are based on a revised framework and updated data collection conducted between August 2020 and June 2021.
      • It has assessed countries across six categories, 37 indicators and 171 questions, using instantly available information.
    • Categories:

     

                            Image Courtesy:ghs index.org

    Major Highlights 

    • Overall performance:
      • The world’s overall performance on the GHS Index score slipped to 38.9 (out of 100) in 2021, from a score of 40.2 in the GHS Index, 2019.
    • Countrywise: 
      • Some 101 high-middle– and low-income countries, including India, have slipped in performance since 2019.
      • In South Asia, India, with a score of 42.8 (out of 100) too, has slipped by 0.8 points since 2019. 
        • But three neighbouring countries — Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives — have improved their score by 1-1.2 points.
    • Issues 
      • All countries had insufficient health capacities. This left the world acutely vulnerable to future health emergencies.
        • All countries remain dangerously unprepared for future epidemic and pandemic threats, including threats potentially more devastating than COVID-19. 
      • In 2021, no country scored in the top tier of rankings and no country scored above 75.9.
      • 65 % of assessed countries had not published and implemented an overarching national public health emergency response plan for diseases with epidemic or pandemic potential.
      • 73 % of countries did not have the ability to provide expedited approval for medical countermeasures, such as vaccines and antiviral drugs, during a public health emergency.
      • Most countries, including high-income ones, have not made dedicated financial investments in strengthening epidemic or pandemic preparedness.
    • Recommendations
    • Prioritize the building and maintaining of health security capacities in national budgets as they are important for responding to routine health threats and can provide important benefits to countries’ overall health and development.
    • Conduct assessments, using findings from the 2021 GHS Index, to identify their risk factors and capacity gaps, and develop a plan to address them.
    • Develop, cost, and make financial arrangements to support a National Action Plan for Health Security if they have completed Joint External Evaluations.
    • Be more transparent with their capacities and risk factors.
      •  National decision-makers need readily available information about their country’s plans and other capacities, and increased transparency is essential for a global prevention, detection, and response to epidemics and pandemics.
    • Conduct comprehensive after-action COVID-19 pandemic reports so that they can learn from this crisis and ensure that capacities developed during the pandemic are expanded and sustained for future public health emergencies.
    • Support countries in addressing the urgent global need to strengthen health systems as part of countries’ public health capacity-building efforts.

    State of Healthcare in India

    • Healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors, both in terms of revenue and employment. 
    • Healthcare comprises hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance and medical equipment. 
    • The Indian healthcare delivery system is categorised into two major components: Public and Private. 
      • The Government, i.e. public healthcare system, comprises limited secondary and tertiary care institutions in key cities and focuses on providing basic healthcare facilities in the form of primary healthcare centres (PHCs) in rural areas. 
      • The private sector provides the majority of secondary, tertiary, and quaternary care institutions with a major concentration in metros and tier I and tier-II cities.
    • India’s competitive advantage lies in its large pool of well-trained medical professionals.
      •  India is also cost-competitive compared to its peers in Asia and Western countries. 
      • The cost of surgery in India is about one-tenth of that in the US or Western Europe.
    • Challenges /Concerns 
    • COVID-19 crisis has highlighted glaring gaps in India’s healthcare sector.
    • Availability of basic infrastructure: 
      • India has been struggling with deficient infrastructure in the form of a lack of well-equipped medical institutes for quite a while now.
    • Shortage of efficient and trained manpower: One of the most pressing problems in India remains a severe shortage of trained manpower in the medical stream, this includes doctors, nurses, paramedics and primary healthcare workers. 
    • Insufficient Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (ISDP): Due to manpower & resource shortage.
    • Denial of health care: High out of the pocket expenditure & non-uniformity in Health care (regarding Rural Vs Urban)
    • Related Initiatives
      • Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM)
      • Jan Aushadhi Yojana
      • Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana
      • Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) 
      • National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 
        • The latest National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 highlights the ‘Health for All’ approach to provide assured healthcare for all at an affordable cost.
      • In Union Budget 2021-22, the government announced its plans to launch ‘Mission Poshan 2.0’ to merge ‘Supplementary Nutrition Programme’ with ‘Poshan Abhiyan’ (Nutrition Mission) in order to improve nutritional outcomes across 112 aspirational districts.
      • In March 2021, the Parliament passed the National Commission for Allied Healthcare Professions Bill 2021, which aims to create a body that will regulate and maintain educational and service standards for healthcare professionals.
      • In March 2021, various states and UTs started the implementation of the ‘Intensified Mission Indradhanush 3.0’—a campaign aimed to reach those children and pregnant women who were missed out or have been left out of the routine immunisation programme due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is aimed to accelerate the full immunisation of children and pregnant women through a mission mode intervention.
      • In May 2021, the Defense Minister launched the ‘Services e-Health Assistance & Tele-consultation (SeHAT)’ OPD portal to provide telemedicine services to armed forces personnel and veterans.
      • Recently, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s ‘’e-Sanjeevani’’ has conducted more than 1 Crore teleconsultations across India.
        • It has grown over 1000% in the last 10 months.
      • In September 2021, the Telangana government in a joint initiative with World Economic Forum, NITI Aayog and HealthNet Global (Apollo Hospitals) launched the ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project. The project will pave the way for drone delivery of life-saving medicines and jabs in far-flung regions of the country.

    Source: DTE