Kolkata is the place where India’s first medical science college, Calcutta Medical College was set up in 1835 to encourage higher studies in medicine and healthcare. A place with such a great legacy is now battling to provide basic healthcare facilities to its citizens. According to WHO standards, Kolkata ranks lower compared to other metropolitan suburbs like Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh in the number of doctors per density of population. When the country is showing exemplary advancement in medical sciences, the alarming fact that there are less than 0.25 beds per 1000 population in the state, according to National Health Profile-2019, leaves us in despair.
Poor healthcare infrastructure often leads to reduced quality of life along with the financial and mental strain on the people. This is reflected in the ~150-200% rise of Cardio-Vascular diseases, Diabetes, and Hypertension since 2015 among the youth of Kolkata due to delays in diagnosis and treatment. COVID-19 pandemic outbreak posed the biggest challenge to date for the city's healthcare system. Last year was marked with mismanagement, the administration failed to provide PPE kits and masks to our healthcare warriors who were serving selflessly. People were struggling with low COVID testing rates and Kolkata alone accounted for over 52% of all infections in the State.
Kolkata is in the middle of the looming medical-care crisis and as responsible citizens of the city, we can not be blindsided into believing that our health is in competent hands. It’s time we demand accountability and join hands to Reboot the city.