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Integrated Approach Needed to Bring in Universal Healthcare

India needs a comprehensive approach to healthcare, where the providers and payers work together with the focus on patients to attain universal healthcare. The payers (private insurance schemes, state schemes and Ayushman Bharat) and providers (hospitals, diagnostic services and pharmaceutical industry) should adopt a patient-centric strategy, DG Shah secretary-general Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, said at CII Healthcare, Pharma and MedTech Conclave 2019. At present, stakeholders — pharmaceutical industry, doctors, hospitals — are regulated by different ministries, with most of them fighting turf battles. “Healthcare is in a flux right now. There is growth in the different parts of the sector; pharma, medical device, private health insurance, hospitals and diagnostics – accompanied by a pressure on margins, regulations, innovation and a need for enhanced supply of infrastructure and manpower. There is an urgent need to take an integrated approach to all the different facets of the healthcare sector”, Parijat Ghosh, partner Bain & Company who moderated the session said. Experts feel Ayushman Bharat needs to evolve further.

Joy Chakraborty chairman CII WR taskforce on Healthcare stated “Government programs like the Ayushman Bharat would be a game changer, with even the underprivileged getting access to quality healthcare. Due to these programs, there would be a demand for at least one million doctors and 2.5 million medical workers by the year 2025”. India is called pharmacy of the world with every third tablet sold globally by an Indian manufacturer, and every fifth patient treated by an Indian doctor. However ironically, only 40 percent of the population has access to basic healthcare facilities. This is set to change now with the launch of Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, according to Malti Jaswal senior consultant, World Bank. She added that under the scheme, primary health centers would be converted to health and wellness centers (HWC) which would be well equipped for universally screening of common non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and three common cancers. “The idea is set up 150,000 HWC by December 2022. Almost 10 lakh people have already benefited under the scheme since its launch and Rs 1456 crore have been spent,” she said. – TOI

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