India Health Progress (IHP), a call for action group with the objective of providing a health policy platform for its stakeholders to voice their concerns over the lack of accessibility to healthcare, concluded the second edition of the Health Access Week with an expert round table in Mumbai. IHP hosted some of the most respected names from the healthcare industry on a common platform to discuss &deliberate issues related to universal access to healthcare and the government priorities thereby. The panel debated on various aspects leading to identifying some of the possible solutions to making universal access to healthcare a reality. The panel agreed that controlling drug prices alone would not ensure effective access to healthcare solution.
The panel asserted that real problems that need to be addressed include ensuring efficient healthcare delivery mechanisms. In addition, the panel also concurred on the need to ensure overall infrastructure that supplements the provision of appropriate healthcare facilities to be instituted and facilitated by relevant working groups within the state and central governments. This includes basic sanitation facilities along with a hygienic environment to avoid health issues.
Universal Access to Healthcare has been one of the perpetual dreams of almost every Government since Independence. Yet, that is just what it has remained “ a dream “ never having been realized during the past six decades. This fruitless mission can be attributed to one fact: pursuit of the wrong priorities. Had this not been the case, universal access to healthcare would have been realized long ago.
Indias healthcare industry is poised to reach US$55 billion by 2020. However, many challenges still remain unaddressed. Despite various efforts, advancements and improvements, the Indian health system continues to be characterized by inequalities in healthcare delivery, meager health financing, inadequate access to high-quality health services and manpower, each worsened by the rapid rise in the disease burden.