BIG PLANS ON THE ANVIL
January 2017

BIG PLANS ON THE ANVIL

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The year 2017 is set to herald a new growth phase in the Indian healthcare sector. Riding on the back of innovation, disruptive approach and strategic tie-ups to take on multitude of challenges, the health industry is expected to remain on the growth trajectory. Elets News Network (ENN) speaks to the industry to know about their future plans and the policy changes they expect the government to effect in order to realise their potential.

NIPUN GOYAL, Co-founder, Curofy Co-founder, Curofy

Future plans for 2017

We will keep improving our core offering to the doctors and help them in all aspects of their practice including knowledge, reputation, finance and resources. We would also like to increase and improve the quality and quantity of our case repository, which can used later to develop automation tools with predictive diagnosis to help doctors take faster and accurate clinical decisions.

We will first conquer the Indian market first and then go to other markets. We have already started running pilots in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Nigeria etc. We plan to have 1 million doctors on the app in next 2 years.

We want to lead the way in making healthcare marketing efficient by building products which can be used by various stakeholders in the industry to reach out to doctors.

Policy decisions you want to see taken in 2017

The industry does not give enough freedom to express oneself and that’s where innovative thinking takes precedence. General association of healthcare industries is with the government and the government levies a lot of rules and regulations. The policies are mostly unclear which creates a lot of confusion in the workspace. Some doctors might also find it unsafe to join in with the industry due to the similar reasons. Though the Prime Minister announced some welcoming initiatives, now it will be important to see the successful implementation of those announcements.

Thoughts on eHealth

World is moving towards digital technologies and so is healthcare sector. With eHealth there is significant potential to improve healthcare decision making, enhance health management, and produce better patient outcomes.

HUZAIFA SHEHABI, Chief Operating Offi cer at Saifee Hospital

Future plans for 2017

Our future plans would be to further climb the spiral ladder on various aspects — be it clinical or supportive services — towards making our hospital better equipped for gravely ill patients.

To make efforts to conserve power and other resources to decrease our carbon footprint.

We also believe in continuously imparting training of different modules to our staff like enhancing their leadership skills, team building etc. which has helped our organisation design and implement towards bringing a positive change.

Policy decisions you want to see taken in 2017

Healthcare is a labour intensive sector where good trained labour is very much important. Some very dynamic reforms and better designed labour regulations need to be introduced by the government which will help in boosting this sector rather than being governed by the age old labour laws.

Thoughts on eHealth

e-health is an emerging field in the intersection of medical informatics, public health and business, referring to health services and information delivered or enhanced through the Internet and related technologies.

 

ANTONY JACOB, CEO, Apollo Munich

Future plans for 2017

With some great innovations, use of technology to enhance customer experience, growing acceptance and recent economic changes, we are expecting a huge upheaval for health insurance industry in 2017. At Apollo Munich, we will continue to adopt innovative technologies to simplify and enhance the customer experience while buying and using their health insurance policies. In terms of products, the insurance industry is on an innovation drive to address diverse and changing needs of the customers. We are working towards developing more innovative products that cater to the primary and tertiary healthcare financing needs of people. There will be product innovation around high frequency-low ticket products for small illnesses and low-frequency- high impact comprehensive products for terminal illnesses. Customized products, disease-specific products, micro-insurance products and life-stage products are also on the anvil.

Policy decisions you want to see taken in 2017

In terms of economic growth and development, a developing country like ours, should be able to provide basic healthcare access to its citizens.

Amongst many other progressive initiatives, the launch of a universal health insurance scheme is expected to take place in 2017. Implementing the ‘Health Insurance for all’ policy will help to make quality healthcare affordable for all.

Further, as health insurance is the best financial tool to mitigate ever rising healthcare costs, we hope to see a push towards lowering the service tax levied currently on health insurance, for deeper penetration and growth of this sector.

We also hope that the government helps to generate additional resources in order to improve the healthcare infrastructure and thus raise the number of healthcare facilities across the country, especially in the smaller cities.

 

NARENDRA NANDEKAR, Founder and CEO of WOCCOT

Broad Structure of the Organisation

Interface Infosoft solutions.P.Ltd is a software product & software services company. The company has a marketing head and a technical head. There are other functional verticals like software development, testing, HR & finance. The overall functioning of the company is looked after by the CEO.

Future plans for 2017

The platform shall be used to deploy three-four solutions in domains like healthcare, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing. The platform shall be scaled, made capable and matured. We expect revenue streams to start from 2-3 of our deployments.

Policy decisions you want to see taken in 2017

All the healthcare organisations should come under compliance and accreditation regime. This shall ensure better and uniform out comes.

Most of the digital healthcare solutions tend to be data- heavy. The cost of data transmission and reception should come down from $3.7/GB to $1/GB. This in line with Prime Minister’s digital India initiative. Also funding should be done to upgrade digital infrastructure so that the current average broad-band speed of 3.5 mbps is at least doubled in next two years.

AMOL NAIKAWADI, Joint Managing Director, Indus Health Plus

Future plans for 2017

This year, Indus will be offering multiple preventive and wellness solutions which will be focused not only on individuals but their families too. As the age for getting the lifestyle diseases is coming down rapidly, Indus has taken this cognizance and thus we are planning to come up with more advanced checkup solutions.

We will be creating multiple preventive and wellness solutions which will be economical and suitable for families of all age groups. Moreover, we will also be launching finance options to cater to the needs of families and make prevention accessible and affordable to all. Like packages pertaining to different age groups, our focus will also be on offering packages for different life stages. We will also be partnering with few Insurance companies to expand the service offerings.

For our existing customers, we are creating a culture of prevention by creating lot of awareness in their minds so that they opt for health checkup on an annual basis. Since, we generate Electronic Health Records (EHRs) we have their family history, by which we will be coming up with customised preventive healthcare solutions for them.

Along with the above, we are continuously expanding our presence in tier II and tier III cities to create awareness about timely preventive healthcare. With this, our focus will be on corporate health checkups, wherein we are already getting good response from various organisations pertaining to various industry verticals.

Keeping in sync with technological advancements, we attempt to offer a wide range of high-end, world class, comprehensive preventive and wellness solutions; which would be launched in the coming year. Through the new packages, we are creating a culture of prevention and are giving opportunity to help more and more families to get benefitted with regular prevention.

Policy decisions you want to see taken in 2017

We recommend that tax exemption should increase up to Rs. 20,000, so that more people can avail preventive health checkups and remain healthy by reducing health burden due to diabetes, cardiac and cancer diseases. The tax exemption of Rs 5,000 is a negligible amount when considered for an entire family of the assesse.

Infrastructure status for the healthcare industry is a long pending demand and should be given priority by the government in the new budget.

Specific tax benefits should be given to corporates only for preventive healthcare, so that they can invest in their employees’ health and wellbeing.

The way healthcare services are enjoying exemptions in service tax, same should continue in the proposed GST. Since the tax rate is expected in the range of 18%, it will hugely impact the cost of healthcare of the common man.

Thoughts on eHealth

eHealth is one of the must have magazines in healthcare industry. The magazine is a credible source of healthcare, business news and information and focuses on providing medical information through digital platform, so it will go a long way. It delivers both national and regional news about the industry which is beneficial for us

 

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