The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has highlighted several existing systemic gaps in services, especially to the rural poor. Inadequate healthcare infrastructure is one of them. Reverse migration has also put additional stress on an already overburdened rural health system, impacting its capacity not only in caring for those who have contracted the virus, but also other health and wellness issues in these regions.
Despite an increase in electrification under Saubhagya, many health facilities are forced to function without proper electricity supply. Hospitals use diesel generators as back-up sources of power. These solutions are expensive, maintenance is difficult, and they contribute to air pollution in the area. Regular, reliable supply of power is critical in order to store much-needed vaccines and medicines, and to run life-saving equipment.