The entire nation is reeling the acute water shortage and southern state Tamil Nadu is one of the worst hit states at present. Locals stand in queue for hours to fill water from the tankers for their daily use.
The situation of water crisis has worsen to the extent that hospitals in cities are are forced to outsource water from private tankers, thereby increasing the cost of treating the patients. In fact, doctors and surgeons from the reputed hospitals in the city are compelled to buy water to carry out surgeries and other medical procedures.
As quoted in various media reports, Ravisankar, chairman of Sudar hospitals in Tambaram said that he’s left the situation to the “mercy of Gods.” For words like that to come from a doctor means it’s an alarming situation, indeed. This one statement proves just how bad things are in water-starved coastal city.
The hospitals have said that they have somehow managed to buy water from the tankers by far, but the skyrocketing prices of water would soon make them raise the hospital service fees for the patients. This would in turn create financial trouble for many patients in the city.
On average, a hospital with 30 beds in Chennai is spending anywhere from Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 a day on water as the supply of piped water has diminished. “That would mean up to Rs 4.5 lakh a month. It is impossible to absorb that loss every month. We will have to pass it on to our patients,” Ravisankar said.
The price of a 12,000-liter water truck soared from Rs. 1200 in April to Rs. 6000 since the shortages of water began. According to reports, the water shortages risk further hurting the already struggling state-run health system. India spends only around 1% of GDP on healthcare and aims to increase to 2.5% by 2025. When compared, nations whose entire populations have access to health services spend as much as 6% of GDP on insurance and healthcare according to WHO.
It’s high time we take the problem of water crisis seriously and actively look for solutions to save and conserve water.