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Ayushman Bharat Effect: Healthcare Sector Demands Skilled Workforce For Success Of ‘Modicare’ Programme

Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Scheme is one of the most ambitious welfare schemes launched by the Narendra Modi government. In fact, to make it a successful scheme, the Modi government has devoted a separate AYUSH Ministry. But, to cater to the 50 crore households falling under the beneficiary list of the scheme, the healthcare sector needs a more skilled workforce that can be achieved only through more educational awareness and medical pass-outs. The industry insiders are of the opinion that disease patterns have undergone a significant shift over the last two decades, and the disease burden for non-communicable diseases has gone up — a major impediment into the success of ‘Modicare.’

Speaking on the matter Savitha Kuttan, founder & CEO, Omnicuris- a health tech startup said, “With the introduction of central government’s Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Scheme, the burden on healthcare scheme is only expected to rise. As it covers 50 crore households or 500 million people, healthcare isn’t only getting more accessible but also becoming more efficient in diagnosing and treating patients with a strong primary care system in place.”

Kuttan went on to add that the need of the hour is the primary care system should be strengthened in such a way that they are capable of doing the initial assessment, diagnosis and basic management and appropriate referral if need be. “A thorough assessment and investigation at the primary care or secondary care can lead to a significant saving of resources at the territory level. The government should facilitate more Continuous Medical Education (CMEs) to upgrade their skills which can solve the problem of shortage of trained doctors,”  she said.

KK Ghosh, Chief Administrative Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute said, “Disease patterns have undergone a significant shift over the last two decades, and the disease burden for non-communicable diseases has gone up. With over 60 per cent of the deaths caused by NCDs, we are in the midst of a growing epidemic. These diseases require regular visits to the hospital and put a dent in patients’ wallets and there is a growing need to educate people on the benefits of holistic preventive care systems such as yoga and naturopathy. Last year, the Union Government increased the allocation for the AYUSH Ministry by 1630 crores to promote education and research in indigenous systems of medicine.”

Ghosh went on to add that when Shripad Naik assumed office as Minister of State in the AYUSH Ministry on May 30, he stressed on the need to increase the infrastructure required for the dissemination of indigenous healthcare treatments. We hope that government will increase the budgetary allocation this year, and lay out a roadmap to better integrate the use of naturopathy and yoga as these two systems can be developed with minimum cost into our primary healthcare systems. This will help us reduce the burden of NCDs in the long term and bring down the economic burden of health for patients with limited financial resources.

Demanding attention from the finance minister on matters pertaining to women’s hygiene industry, Harry Sherawat , Founder at Sanfe said, “India’s Feminine Hygiene Industry is one of the more shining industries and has immense potential to take the country on the global business map and improvise women empowerment initiatives by ensuring health, hygiene, and wellbeing. The need of the hour is to create a conducive atmosphere by introducing favorable policies to support women empowerment companies in the category. To improve the state of women health and hygiene at mass level there is an urgent need for GST relaxation and motivating subsidies. We expect the upcoming budget to support the creation of a robust startup ecosystem for affordable, disruptive and sustainable hygiene products.” He said that the cost of research and development is already very high in the category obstructing innovation for last mile women of India. This demands for a policy draft, where startups can be allowed to collaborate with Hospitals and Labs to undergo the clinical trials and testing, helping them to grow and introduce a wide range of affordable and innovative solutions. Like large companies, startups also have to compute taxes under the minimum alternate tax (MAT) regime even though they may not have real profits. This need to be altered so that the startup does not lose capital at the initial stage. – zeebiz

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