Insurance acts as a catalyst and leverages affordable healthcare to the common citizens by keeping the growth curve intact of the industry, informs Dr Kunal Sarkar, Senior Vice Chairman of Medica Super-Specialty Hospital to Subhajit Bhattacharya of Elets News Network (ENN)
How do you interpret the boom in the private healthcare sector of West Bengal?
It is a fact that the private healthcare sector is growing with a standard pace and they have a massive pie of the market share. The contribution of the healthcare industry in Indian economy is extremely bleak in comparison to other industries such as IT or retail. Most of the private players are in their own cocoon and they are not addressing the holistic problems which are there within the industry. Because of the absence of consolidated insurance platforms the private players should be little less parochial. The entire healthcare industry suffers from policy paralysis and not meeting the standards of the healthcare.
The presence of the government in the healthcare should be minimised and rather restricted to keep the growth of healthcare intact.
How can we make health insurance affordable?
All the insurance platforms which are related to the healthcare should be strengthened. A multi Tier health insurance system should be laid down to make healthcare affordable for all. The insurance should be an integral part of our social system. Because insurance is the only bridge which can minimise the gap between the affordable healthcare and the common citizens of the country by keeping the growth curve intact. To establish a smart and intelligent medical facility, an investor pumps in money and that fund incurs interest. To meet all these loose ends, a proper insurance infrastructure is the need of the hour. The absence of proper insurance back up has made the healthcare industry extremely patchy in India. We need a uniform healthcare which will have the strength to develop and upscale, then only it can cater best possible services to its patients.
How is National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) certificate fortifying the patient safety?
With my experience of more than two decades in the health sector of this country, the best possible thing which happened is the NABH. Through this certification the institutional standardisation has developed a lot. To get NABH an institution has to maintain certain standards and which are actually polishing the service level and ensuring patients safety.
Do you think the heart related treatments are beyond the reach of the common man in India?
The heart related treatments are extremely low cost and affordable in India. But there are several nexus which is present within the system which are hampering the cost of the operations and other medicines. The government over the years has tried to cap this malice but by rolling out several low cost medicines and stents but they have no clinical authenticity. But over the years India has excelled in catering a cost effective heart treatment.
Do you think the manpower dearth is really evident in the healthcare sector at the moment?
We should build up an army of manpower by keeping it at par with the people infrastructure. I think 80 per cent of the skilled manpower such as nurses and paramedics lies within the 20 per cent population of the country. So we should have proper distribution and of manpower and the infrastructure expansion is a massive problem. We should and must develop manpower which is less illusioned and cushioned by proper infrastructure.