The much-awaited global Conference, The Future of Healthcare: A Collective Vision, began in the city today, providing a powerful platform to industry stakeholders to brainstorm unique solutions and innovative strategies to help lead humanity towards a healthier future.
The first day of the Conference, hosted by The Healthcare Alliance, saw a splendid turnout of thought leaders, policy makers, senior Government officials, and business and health leaders from India and across the globe.
The inaugural session witnessed the presence of personalities like Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of India; Lov Verma, Health Secretary, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Government of India; Prof K Srinath Reddy, President Public Health Foundation of India; Lord Nigel Crisp, Crossbench member, House of Lords, and; Dr Prathap C Reddy, Chair of The Healthcare Alliance and Chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group, all of whom delivered a special address to the audiences.
With participation from over 15 countries and the presence of more than 500 delegates, the power-packed, morning-to-evening agenda focused on three critical issues facing the healthcare industry worldwide:
The rising incidence of non-communicable diseases and how to curb it through primary and preventive healthcare;
Setting up successful Public-Private-People Partnerships;
Meeting the manpower needs of the future by up-skilling and up-scaling talent.
Delivering his special address at the formal inauguration of the conference, Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, Chair of The Healthcare Alliance and Chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group, said: Amazing progress has been made in healthcare over the last 30 years, yet barriers of accessibility, quality and cost persist. New challenges have arisen, such as the worrying ascent of NCDs, which claim 36 million lives every year in the world, with nearly 80% of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. The need of the hour is four-fold: preventive healthcare, making people partners in PPP, up-scaling and up-skilling the manpower, and accelerating the pace of innovation. This Conference provides a common platform for collective thinking for stakeholders of the nation and global thought leaders to come up with an agenda for the future. We have to work towards the dream of a disease-free world. This is the big challenge for the future of healthcare.
The Conference began with opening remarks by Sangita Reddy, utive Director, Apollo Hospitals Group, who warmly welcomed the guests. She expressed hope that the deliberations and sessions over two days of the event would result in concrete recommendations to shape the future of healthcare not only in India but also in other countries facing similar demographic and economic challenges.
A prominent highlight of the day was the launch of three White Papers by global consultancies Bain & Company, PwC, and KPMG, each focused on a specific area of the conference highlighted by the sessions. The White Papers are a result of over three months of collaboration between members of The Healthcare Alliance and thought leaders from around the world to arrive at global solutions that are systemic, sustainable and impactful. Each paper looks into a definitive way forward and an action plan to impact the future of healthcare in the 21st century.
Plenary Session 1: Control of NCDs through Primary and Preventive Healthcare
Shobana Kamineni, utive Director (New Initiatives), Apollo Hospitals Group, set the context for the plenary session on Control of NCDs through Primary and Preventive Healthcare which was followed by the keynote address by Prof K Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India.
The main take-away from the discussion: With NCDs snatching away precious lives, a population equal to the size of a nation like Canada, each year across the world, this is a threat that can no longer be ignored. The solution lies in strengthening primary care for early detection and popularizing preventive care to bring down the incidence.
Plenary Session 2: Public-Private-People Partnerships
The panelists at the session on Public-Private-People Partnerships (PPPP) were unanimous about the importance of including people as partners in the existing PPP model to make it more effective and inclusive. They noted that global healthcare systems are increasingly coming under stress due to rising costs. India too needs huge investments to bring its healthcare infrastructure to international levels of penetration.
Panelists recommended that the Government develop a health PPP policy framework, create an institutional mechanism to support health PPPs, ensure contractual flexibility and continued sharing of risks and rewards, devise an appropriate pricing and incentive mechanism to improve quality, affordability and viability, and benchmark best practices.
Plenary Session 3: Talent Fast-forward: Upskill, Upscale
The keynote address by Lord Nigel Crisp, Crossbench member, House of Lords, kick-started the session titled Talent fast-forward: Upskill, Upscale, with the context being set by Rajendra Pawar, Chairman, NIIT. The acute dearth of adequately educated or trained healthcare professionals was deeply felt by the panelists, who pointed out that this issue is limiting access and quality of healthcare services in India. They deliberated upon the challenge of ensuring sufficient supply of manpower for expansion of healthcare to all corners of the country and came up with many interesting ideas that showed the most practical way forward.
The Conference also included a lively conversation on the theme “The Where, What and How – for the Futureof Healthcarefacilitated by Dr. Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals, along withDr. John Adler, Inventor CyberKnife and Chief of new Clinical Applications, Varian, Dr. Rajiv Doshi, utive Director, Stanford-India Biodesign, and Dr. Euan Thomson, Operating Partner, Khosla Ventures.
Recommendations arising from the deliberations at the Conference will be presented to Shri Pranab Mukherjee, The Honble President of India,and Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, on March 4, 2014, the second and final day of the event.