Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam: Paper - III (General Studies – II) - 20 June 2020

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam

UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper-III: General Studies -II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

Q. How prepared is India to deal with a New Public Health Emergency? (150 words)

Model Answer:

  • Why in News?
  • Introduction
  • Preparedness of India to deal with a New Public Health Emergency
  • Suggestions to improve Indian healthcare facilities
  • Conclusion

Why in News?

The outbreak of 2019-nov CoV (coronavirus) in Wuhan city in China forces us to consider global health security and the challenges faced.


In the fast-paced and connected world that we live in today, the threat of transmission of a lethal microorganism is high. There is a high potential for casualties. It may also disrupt international travel and trade. This possesses a uniquely formidable challenge not only for India but for the whole world.

An infectious disease knows no boundaries. In the last two decades, swine flu, Ebola, SARS Nipah, etc. has infected millions of people around the world.

Preparedness of India to deal with a New Public Health Emergency:

  • There is little evidence to show whether countries have tested emergency capabilities in order to deal with a health emergency.
  • The Global Health Security Index 2019, data reveals that most countries, including India, are not prepared adequately to tackle outbreaks of major infectious diseases.
  • India is ill-prepared to cope with public health emergency because of overburdened health infrastructure.
  • The way settlements have grown in India, epidemics would spread at a galloping rate. The slum clusters all around the cities, the unhygienic growth, and poor waste disposal system will only aggravate the situation.
  • Health infrastructure is the basic support for the delivery of public health activities, but current facilities in the country paint a dismal picture of the delivery system.
  • The laboratory network in India has improved after the H1N1 virus was detected in India.
  • Life expectancy in India has improved considerably. Infant and maternal mortality have declined.
  • The coverage of most of the National Health Programmes of the government has gone up considerably.

Suggestions to improve Indian healthcare facilities:

  • The ‘Make in India’ initiative would encourage domestic manufacturers of medical devices. This would help lower the prices patients pay for various medical treatments and equipment.
  • In India, the policy environment and regulators need to accommodate technological interventions such as the growth of online pharmacies with the requisite controls.
  • Health care innovation in India needs to shift from treating the sick to preventive care and wellness.
  • A two-pronged approach, to grow the (health care) infrastructure, improve the methodology, and efficiency and reduce the burden of the disease will address the supply-side constraints.
  • On the regulatory front, the National Disaster Management Guidelines for the Management of Biological Disasters 2008 need to be updated.


The private sector emerged as a strong force in India’s healthcare service delivery. For health emergencies such as coronavirus, private hospitals have geared themselves up. However, their network in small towns and villages is poor and not many can afford private treatment. Central and state health agencies must act in tandem to address such health emergencies in India.

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