Among many other things, COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how bad medical facilities in India are. 

The government hospitals, which various political parties boast about day and night, don’t have the equipment for treatment of a disease like coronavirus, and we have reasons to believe that.

The VIPs being admitted to private hospitals.

Case in point: Union Home Minister Amit Shah being admitted to Medanta Hospital in Gurugram. After testing positive for COVID-19 on August 2, he was admitted to the private institution. 

And if reports are to be believed, allegedly special arrangements were also made for doctors from AIIMS to travel to Gurugram for providing assistance during the treatment.

Which is strange. Delhi is the capital of India, it has the best state-run medical facilities in the country. Then why did one of our biggest political figures feel the need to opt for a private hospital? Does he not believe in the ability of government institutions in treating the virus?

Amit Shah isn’t the only VIP getting treated in a private facility, though. B.S. Yediyurappa, the CM of Karnataka is admitted in Manipal Hospital, Bengaluru. Meanwhile Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the CM of Madhya Pradesh is receiving treatment at Chirayu Hospital, Bhopal.

That leaves us with a lot of questions. 

Earlier, Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendra Jain, who tested positive for COVID-19, was shifted to Max Hospital after his health deteriorated on June 19.

Now, what if someone else was going through this? Someone who didn’t have this kind of power? Someone who couldn’t afford Max or Medanta?

Every citizen of the country, regardless of their background, deserves a fair and equal chance at getting the same medical treatment . This is not a scenario where money or position should act as a factor.

However, that seems like a utopian concept for now.

A report by CNBC on June 12, suggested that 70% beds in the government-run hospitals in Delhi were vacant at the time. It is because people don’t trust they will be provided with good treatment. 

And who can blame these people when the high and mighty are turning to private institutions in times of trouble?

The Indian Express

Also, one simply doesn’t have the courage to do that after reading instances like this:

A heart-wrenching report from The Indian Express stated that a 17-year old lost his father to coronavirus on his birthday. A day later, his mother also succumbed to the disease. 

It was alleged that they were shifted to the ICU by Ram Manohar Lohia hospital only hours before their death. This was because the person’s mother had tested negative for COVID-19 in a test conducted by GB Pant Hospital earlier, and his father didn’t show symptoms. 

When the result of the second test came in, it was found out, that they were, in fact, positive.

DNA India

So did the governments lie when they said that the state-run hospitals are fully-equipped for an emergency like this? Probably, otherwise how do you explain any of this?

The misery of the citizens doesn’t end there, though. 

In many cases, even if they reach these super-specialty hospitals they are not given beds

Some have to go from one place to another, begging the authorities to admit them. 

Some die in the process.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and his mother Madhavi Raje Scindia were admitted in a private hospital even before their test results could come in. They complained of having ‘mild symptoms’. 

How is this fair? 

These are some of the instances showing how privilege gets one access to things that the less fortunate might not. But how can this be justified, especially when it’s a matter of life and death?