One thing that this raging pandemic has taught the world is rethinking about our priorities. Before the virus engulfed the globe, we all had our plans and schedules to follow. A life where most of us wore blinkers and looked into the small goals and milestones we all had set up in our individual lives. Then coronavirus came and shook us up, derailed our plans, and forced us to think of humans as a collective being which needs to have a collective support system to fight a collective enemy. The world realised how important universal healthcare was. How spending on health and safety of people was far more crucial and important than spending on, for example, weapons. How instead of a cut-throat competition among nations, a friendly collaboration to save and improve lives would make great positive differences to this world. The pandemic also taught those nations and people who thought they were invincible to always remember that there was a higher power governing all of us. That we were nothing in front of that power. And our egos and self-centrism could cost us dearly. The world needs to remember these lessons and know the importance of building a better healthcare system. Covid-19 has, more than any other disease programme that we have faced, really put in stark focus the importance of health, what damage health can do. Look at India’s GDP, it is kind of plummeting. That is the impact that infectious and communicable diseases have, and all systems and all countries are vulnerable to such an attack. Therefore, we need to have a constant vigil and it is very important to keep investing in basic healthcare, surveillance systems, and public health functions–which are an imperative function of the government because it is the population’s health. It is not something you can leave to the private sector. Public health services, politically neglected for decades in most Indian states, have proven their irreplaceable value during this crisis. Although despised by the rich and middle classes, they are shouldering the lion’s share of not just preventive and outreach services but also clinical care. Nearly 80%-90% of critical Covid-19 cases are currently being treated by public health services. States with robust public health systems like Kerala have been far more successful in containing Covid-19, compared to richer states like Maharashtra and Gujarat, which have under-staffed public health systems. Given this background, now is the time to reinvent and rejuvenate public health services across the country, for which health budgets must be substantially upgraded. India’s measly public health expenditure – at 1.15% of its gross domestic product – must take a quantum leap and be more than doubled to reach the goal of 2.5% set by the National Health Policy 2017, while being further increased to 3%-4% of the GDP in the medium term.