Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR) organised a two day conference “Health Conclave 2009” during November 18-19, 2009 to address and manage the key challenges of the 21st century in the healthcare industry. The conference, which was held in New Delhi was sponsored by the Government of India; National Disaster Management Authority; Quality Council of India; World Health Organization (Country Office for India); National Health System Resource Centre, New Delhi; Sulabh International Social Service Organization; IBM; and Centre for Excellence in Project Management. The conference focused on developing win-win strategies for better management of healthcare practices by networking of academicians, government officials, corporate utives and practitioners from all over the country.

The Guests of Honor at the conference, Lt. Gen. JR Bhardwaj, Member, National Disaster Management Authority, Government of India and Dr. Captain (Retd.) Mozibur Rahman Fakir, State Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh addressed the conference in the inaugural session.  Lt Gen Bhardwaj emphasised the importance of appropriate capacity building in terms of infrastructure as well as human resource. He also highlighted the importance of establishing strong disaster management services for an effective healthcare system in the country as exemplified by the current H1N1 pandemic. Dr. Captain (Retd.) Mozibur Rahman Fakir discussed the current status of healthcare services in Bangladesh and its focus on using technologies like creating community database to enable effective decision making in healthcare.

The Chief Guest, Gen. NC Vij, Vice Chairman,  National Disaster Management Authority, Government of India delivered the inaugural address, emphasising on the importance of climate change, disaster management education and other preventive measures in government initiatives in disaster management.

The first day of the conference saw two parallel sessions parallel session I, which comprised of the technical sessions and parallel session II, which comprised of student paper presentation.

The topics of discussion for technical session in parallel session I were:

  • Managing Globalization and its Impact

  • Forays in Quality Management

  • Building Effective Healthcare System

The keynote speakers, of the first technical session on managing globalization and its impact, were Dr. Kevin Fickenscher, utive Vice President, Perot Systems Corporation, USA and Dr. Shiban Ganju, Chiarman, Atrimed, USA. The focussed on what India should and should not learn from the west. The session was chaired by Dr, Ajit K Nagpal, Convenor, Task Force, health Sector Reforms, J&K State and provided key insights into the impact of globalization, financial recession and customer insights for the improvement of the health sector.

The second technical session on forays in quality management was chaired by Dr. Girdhar J Gyani, Secretary General, Quality Council of India and included various presentations that focused on improvement of quality, laboratory accreditation and physical environment as enabler of healthcare safety. The keynote address of this session, delivered by Mr. Nicholas G Middleton, President, Apac and Global Growth, Simpler Consulting UK, focused on lean healthcare concept, its global application and Indian perspective.

The third and fourth technical sessions on day I focussed on building effective healthcare system. Dr. AK Shiva Kumar, Member, NAC and Adviser UNICEF and Mr Adesh Jain, President, Centre for Excellence in Project Management Pvt Ltd delivered the keynote addresses during these sessions. Mr. Daljit Singh, President Strategy and Organizational Development, Fortis Healthcare provided key inputs for the development of an effective healthcare system in India.

The programme for day II was segmented into three parallel sessions, two of which were technical sessions and one was the student paper presentation session.

The topics of discussion for technical session in parallel session I on day II were:

  • Medical Counter Measures in Disaster

  • Special Counter Measure for CBRN Casualties

  • Medical Counter Measure Logistic and Supply Chain Management

  • Are we Prepared for Possible Disaster

This parallel session focused on various topics on disaster management such as building trained human resources to improve trauma care in India, preparedness and emergency medical response to CBRN casualties and the state of public health during a disaster. A panel discussion was held during the last technical session focusing on our preparedness for a possible disaster in future. The key panellists included Dr Shakti k Gupta, Head, Dept. of Hospital Administration, AIIMS; Dr P Ravindran, Director, Medical Relief, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India; and Dr Rajiv Kumar Jain, Director (Health & Family Welfare), Ministry of Railways, among others.

The topics of discussion for technical sessions in parallel session II were:

  • Clinical Governance through Health Information System

  • Health Insurance for Sustainable Healthcare Delivery Outcomes

Considering the crucial role of health informatics, the first technical session of parallel session II focused on certain key areas in this arena, such as smarter health networks, emerging role of workflow and decision marking systems in clinical governance, open source solutions in healthcare IT management and techno managerial for highly effective health management programme. Mr Sunil Nandaraj, National Professional Officer (Health Systems Development), WHO Representative Office delivered the keynote address on healthcare reforms in India, in addition to Dr. Arun Sood, Prof., Computer Science, Co-Director, Laboratory Cyber Centre who spoke on security of information system for healthcare. Technical sessions in parallel session three focussed on quality management initiatives in public health. The inaugural address of this session was delivered by Mr PK Pradhan, Medical Director, National Rural Health Mission. Some of the key speakers of this session included Sh Amarjeet Sinha, Joint Secretary, NRHM; Dr. Girdhar J Gyani; Dr JN Sahay, Adviser Public Health-Quality Improvement, NHSRC; Mr JP Misra, Principal Specialist, GTZ HSS; and Dr. T Sundaraman, ED, NHSRC, New Delhi.

The conference was one-of-its-kind as it addressed certain key issues such as disaster management and quality management in public health. Inputs from key personnel from different sectors in the healthcare industry added value to the conference, which achieved its purpose of managing key challenges in the 21st century health system.

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