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Technology, Preventive Care & State Support – Key to Successful Implementation of Health Measures

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Dr Jagdish Prasad Director General of Health Services (DGHS), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India

Dr Jagdish Prasad
Director General of Health Services (DGHS)
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India

“We need to create appropriate infrastructure, communication, and law and order to retain doctors in public sector medical facilities” 

We face so many problems related to communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), so the Government of India has undertaken many initiatives in the e-health systems. We have done a pilot project in four districts of the country where we are mapping out the entire country as far as infrastructure and human resources is concerned to enable adequate information related to healthcare (such as competence of doctors, qualification of doctors, etc.). This is one of the project that is going on.

In the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, e-filing has been initiated. Even in small files we do e-signings.

Since now we are fighting with NCDs, which are totally preventable diseases, at least 70 per cent can be prevented or delayed, we are working along with the AYUSH system in six districts in the country at the moment that include Gaya (Bihar), Lakhimpur Kheri (Uttar Pradesh), Bhilwara (Rajasthan), Krishna Nagar (Andhra Pradesh), etc. In these districts, we are focusing on lifestyle diseases. We have posted about 30 Yoga teachers and 30 to 40 AYUSH teachers. The cost of treatment of NCDs is very costly to patients and they are also not curative.

Now we are also asking all health secretaries of states to come up with a proposal because we want to have in every district at least one naturopathy hospital. This will ensure adequate treatment through normal physical activities or Yoga. The states have to now come forward as they will be providing land and we will be giving funds to open naturopathy hospitals. We are also asking corporates to come forward and work on the above project.

We are now not just focusing on infrastructure, but also on prevention. Investment in prevention is necessary to reduce cost of treatment.

Today, I will also talk little about organ transplant as 13th August is the Organ Transplant Day. The Government of India has formed the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) in Safdarjung Hospital, which has five branches across India. These branches will be region-wise controlling information on organ transplant. We are now promoting both prevention and organ donation of life-saving organs.

We need to create appropriate infrastructure, communication, and law and order to retain doctors in public sector medical facilities. Doctors need appropriate environment and academic facilities to work; therefore, we need to introduce such facilities in the public healthcare facilities.

As 70 per cent of our population depends on private healthcare facilities, the Prime Minister has taken a policy decision of the National Insurance Policy, where the daily wage workers, rickshaw pullers, etc. in metros will be covered. We are covering nearly 40 crore population under this policy and every family will be given up to Rs 1, 60, 000 for treatment each year. We are trying to enlist hospitals and this policy is likely to be implemented in 2017. We are funding states to purchase essential medicines. Another initiative undertaken by the Government of India is introduction of drug pharmacies where drugs are purchased directly from manufacturers which will decrease price of cancer drugs to a large extent. We also plan to upgrade district hospitals. We have chosen 60 districts with more than 300 beds to be converted into medical colleges.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), we have already given the fund of around Rs 120 crore to each medical college to develop super-specialities.

These are few steps undertaken by the Government of India and we are initiating progressive healthcare measures to take India to another level.

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