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Elets Exclusive! Assam developing new partnerships with private sector to enhance patient care, says J V N Subramanyam, MD, National Health Mission

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J V N Subramanyam

Speaking at the Healthcare Innovation Summit Hyderabad, J V N Subramanyam, Mission Director, Department of Health Medical & Family Welfare, Govt. of Assam shared the existing healthcare scenario in Assam.

Subramanyam said, “Assam has been in news for a number of good initiatives undertaken to make healthcare delivery accessible and affordable. Meaningful partnership between public and private institutions needs to build up, which will ultimately determine success of healthcare schemes like Ayushman Bharat. Unless private sector understands public health problems, a meaningful partnership would not emerge. The State Government is developing new partnership with private sector and coming up with innovative ways (boat clinics) to enhance patient care.”

“So, unless the private sector understands the public health problem, probably a meaningful partnership would not emerge. Explaining the kind of technology and partnerships that the state of Assam, and especially the Health Department of Assam has built in over the years and the kind of outcomes that are there and what we are looking at”, stated Subramanyam in his speech.

Out of the seven sisters, Assam is the biggest state with almost about 20% of Assam’s population belonging to the tea growing communities. They are one of the most backward and exploited communities in Assam.

“To keep things in perspective, Telangana is about 4crore population and the population of Assam is 3.4 crore, which means that we are comparable in size to the population of Telangana. But the divided state of Telangana and Andhra almost match to them”, said Subramanyam.

Underlying the demographic challenges of the state, Subramanyam said, “With about 3.4 crore population, Assam is poised in a unique context both demographically and topographically and is the largest State with 68.4% population of the country’s northeastern region. There are about 26 Scheduled Tribes and 22 Scheduled Castes. One must look at Assam’s healthcare delivery system in this context. In context of accessibility, quality of services and affordability, we need to look at various factors like difficult geographical terrain with hard to reach riverine areas, tea garden areas, hilly and forest areas spread across the State are the major accessibility issues for healthcare delivery system in the State.”

Moving forward Subramanyam concluded by saying, “The accessibility issues that the state faces where the private sector can pitch in the form of tele-consultations or in terms of other accessibility where the partnerships can happen.  We are a state with the highest maternal mortality in India. 480 per 1000 live births have come down to 237 in the latest SRS. So, a long way to go and probably partnerships will grow.”

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