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Montek suggests independent discussion for reforming Health Care

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10th India Health Summit

The 10th India Health Summit with a concept of A Transparent and Integrated Health System for the Next Decade, was organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on 17-18 December 2013 at Hotel The Lalit, New Delhi

(L to R) Rahul Khosla, MD, Max India Ltd; Aditya Vij, Chairman, 10th India Health Summit and CEO, Fortis Healthcare (India) Ltd; Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman, CII National Committee on Healthcare & CMD Medanta – The Medicity, Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Shivinder Mohan Singh, utive Vice Chairman,
Fortis Healthcare (India) Ltd., Chandrajit Banerjee, DG, CII

A unique forum, designed to bring together, Indian and overseas players with a multi stakeholder to interact and discuss the best practices and ideas shaping the healthcare landscape of the globe, the two-day event provided a platform for all key themes and issues in Healthcare services to be deliberated extensively among stakeholders.

Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, said that a discussion consisting of independent experts and stakeholders in healthcare should be set up for generating ideations for the mid – term appraisal of the 12th Five Year Plan, due for next year. The discussion should, among other things, objectively take stock of the gaps in the existing infrastructure, mismatch in the talent pool and the reasons that held back public private partnership in the health value chain.

While giving the keynote address at the 10th India Health Summit organized by CII and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the capital today, Dr Ahluwalia observed that the panel should consist of general medical practitioners, NGOs, health activists, pharmaceutical companies etc. along with other stakeholders. The document produced by these stakeholders should highlight the differences in the perception of the different players rather than the commonalities of their views. There is already a consensus on the priorities that have to be assigned to the health segment but what that holds back is the differences in the perception as to how to go about it and implement them.

Dr Ahluwalia said that the mid – term appraisal of 12th Five Year Plan would be due next year. By that time a new Government and Planning Commission would be in office. A lot of preparatory work had already been done in this direction, he said. He wanted CII to give a presentation about the outcome of the Health Summit, which would go as the organization view points for the mid-term appraisal.

Dr Ahluwalia observed that the ongoing dialogue on health should be made more participatory. We have to involve the pharmaceutical companies, which play an important part in rolling out the health infrastructure in terms of pricing of medicines and making them affordable to the common man. We have to hold discussion general medical practitioners apart from hospitals, he added.

Mentioning that public – private partnership was critical in rolling out a strong health infrastructure in the country, Dr Ahluwalia said that only very little progress had been made for making this concept work effectively in the health eco system. It was mostly because of the complex nature of the health segment. It is easy to lay down critical strategic plans for partnership for others industries, but when it comes to health care, there are social issues that have to be addressed to, making an effective PPP model difficult to achieve, he added.

Rising medical cost had been a concern both in the private and public segments. In the public sector segment, though the patients need not have to bear the cost, there had to be considerable governmental expenditure in providing free health services to the common man. Also, healthcare was interconnected and not purely in the domain of the Health Ministry. Issues like sanitation, water etc. impact the health landscape of a country.

Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman, CII National Committee on Healthcare, in his address, urged the Planning Commission to play an increasingly important role in bringing all stakeholders across the table to discuss about the way forward. India had to address multiple health challenges emanating from communicable and non-communicable diseases, which entailed huge budgetary allocations. He said that private sector could play a crucial role particularly in the secondary and tertiary sectors and for making existing national assets in healthcare to function effectively and efficiently.

Shivinder Mohan Singh, utive Vice Chairman, Fortis Healthcare India Ltd, underscored the need for building trust with the patients to roll out an effective healthcare system. Innovation, technology and grooming up of a talented group of medical practitioners and para medicals were critical for developing a sound healthcare system. Highlighting the importance of innovation in healthcare, Singh observed that India, with the inherent strength in IT, could devise cheaper technology that could reduce the cost of treatment. He suggested setting up of quality institutions and hospitals in India as a next step for adding value to the healthcare chain. Aditya Vij, Chairman, 10th India Health Summit and CEO Fortis Healthcare India Ltd, referred to the challenges that were being thrown up by the healthcare system in India. He suggested that more doctors and para medicos should be enrolled in the medical institutions. Presently, there was a mismatch between the demand and availability. He suggested non-traditional approach to healthcare system whereby some of the government – run schemes like Ayush etc. became more accessible to the common man. These schemes should have more linkages with the private sector to make them sustainable and to increase their reach.

The Plenary Sessions include:
Physical Infrastructure Gap Future Demand and Integrated Solutions
Medical Workforce Gap Solving the Problem in a Decade
Public Private Partnerships Collaborating to Meet Country Need
Rising costs, Dropping prices Living with margin squeeze
Big Data in Health Leveraging What Exists
Rising Medico Legal Liability Implications for the Healthcare Sector
Trust with Patients Bridging the Deficit

Rahul Khosla, MD, Max India Ltd, suggested pricing and standard protocols to be evolved in the healthcare to build trust with the patients. He underscored the need for evolving self-regulation among players in the healthcare value chain.

Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, informed that CII is working on areas such as bridging the demand supply gap in healthcare infrastructure and medical talent. While bridging the gap between the Government and the Private Sector has been one of the major achievements over the last decade, robust models for PPPs in healthcare delivery are yet to be evolved and this is one of the thrust areas of CII work, he added.

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