Chief Minister

Health Assurance for all citizens soon

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Inviting active industry participation to provide healthcare services in India, Dr Jagdish Prasad, Director General – Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India said that Industry should adopt one district in each state, upgrading the medical facilities in District health centers and primary health centers to provide the best possible quality healthcare services to the common man. He was addressing the CII Conclave on NextGen Healthcare – Roadmap: Healthcare for All, organized by Confederation of Indian Industry at New Delhi today.

Calling Public Private Partnership as the only solution to vast prevailing disparity in healthcare, he appealed to the industry, cooperatives and the NGOs for support specifically in strengthening healthcare delivery systems, drugs distribution, use of Information Technology (IT), latest technologies and enhanced pharma supply chain management.

We are ready to support you with funds, even in converting the district hospitals into world class Medical Hospitals but industry will have to ensure proper delivery systems and strengthened supply chain, so that the facilities and medicines reach even the last person in the remotest areas, he further highlighted.

Highlighting the solution to this challenge, he called for Integration of working of five key ministries i.e the Ministry for Rural Development, Women & Child welfare, Water, Urban sanitation, Education and health. Presently, we all are working in isolation of each other and do not know what the other ministries are doing. If these five ministries can derive coordinated campaigns and launch joint schemes, then we would be far better equipped to provide quality healthcare to each and every individual of this country.

This is because some of the challenges lie outside health-care policy. Two-thirds of the health problems can also be solved by providing safe drinking water and sanitation. Even if we concentrate on these basic facilities, we can control many waterborne and airborne infectious diseases, he added.

Each year 39 million people in India enter BPL category due to poor delivery of healthcare services. To confront this, industry has to by-pass the rules and regulations and bureaucratic bottlenecks and find out innovative ways or build confidence with Chief Ministers and get MC regulations eased, to build world class hospitals and strengthen healthcare delivery system in India. For this, the key is good intent and strong political will of the government, emphasized the DG.

I would even recommend altering the constitution to make Healthcare a Centre subject, which is presently a state subject. The state governments and bureaucracy are not as proactive as they should be. For example, we adopted and provided money to 238 districts out of total 730 odd districts to create special Cardiac clinics across India, but only 37 centers have come up so far, that too majorly in south and very few in Rajasthan and Gujarat. None of the other northern states benefitted from this scheme. In 12th Five year plan, we have decided to develop 20 National Cancer Centers at a cost of 120 crores shared Dr Prasad.

Our ministry is also planning to open AIIMS in all states and create ideal healthcare centers across different states with world class standards at Rs 50 crore each and would ask state governments to replicate similar standards in others as well. We would soon launch a web portal and E mechanism for public health delivery like supply chain management, Drugs distribution and recognition, hospitals and available healthcare facilities for different diseases etc, , further informed the DG.
Dr (Prof) Ranjit Roy Chaudhary, Principal Advisor to the Honble Health Minister, Government of India highlighted that We would soon launch a scheme called Healthcare Assurance for all citizens which would cover each and every citizen of the country. Presently, only 25 % of our population is insured.

Further, we are also working towards providing transparency in drug manufacturing. We would soon launch a web portal for the citizens and manufacturers, where applications, registration and licenses etc can be easily done. In rural areas, we are planning to build teams of 2-3 types of persons including Ayush practitioners, whom we would provide 1 year bridging course. Use of IT for better healthcare is also high on the agenda of the new government, informed Mr Chaudhary.

Though the share of Healthcare sector has increased from 0.9 % to 2.5 % of GDP in the 12th Five Year Plan, but still it is far low as compared to other countries, considering the diverse challenges of our vast country. For example, US spends 20 % of its GDP on healthcare. Hence we need support of all stakeholders like the Industry, NGOs, cooperatives etc. Industry presently spends 70 % of the total spend on healthcare while government spends 30 %. What we also need is the maximum utilization of the funds, further shared Mr Chaudhary.

It is very disheartening that still, 45 % of the Indian children are malnourished, our mothers are anemic, our villages have poor hygiene, while around 400 million abject poor are deprived of any healthcare services in India. Hence, we need to gear up our healthcare delivery mechanisms and for this, partnership is the only solution. There is a 160 billion USD untapped potential by 2017 in healthcare including hospitals, pharmaceuticals and delivery systems etc in India, which industry can really benefit from. With latest technologies, we can reach out to even the last man in remotest area in the present day Digital India, since 900 million people in India are accessible through mobile phones while another 120 million through internet, Mr Harpal Singh, Chairman, CII NextGen Healthcare Conclave & Past Chairman, CII NR.

Some key issues that need to be addressed include like lack of infrastructure and manpower, inaccessibility of healthcare services, shortage of medical specialists and inefficiency of public healthcare providers. Though, in major urban areas, healthcare is of adequate quality and accessible, but its access is limited or unavailable in most rural areas and Tier II & Tier III cities, for which technology and partnership is the answer, shared Mr Shreekant Somany, Deputy Chairman, CII Northern Region & Chairman and Managing Director, Somany Ceramics Ltd.

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