Dr K. K. Kalra
CEO - IMA Accreditation and Academic Council,
Formerly CEO NABH, QCI

Health Transformation

Government and private collaborative work is the need of the day to bring healthcare transformation with use of technology and innovations.

On the healthcare market

Indian healthcare is expected to grow at CAGR 15–16 percent in next 3–4 years to become a USD 280 billion industry by 2021–2022. Availability of world class quality infrastructure and expertise at lower cost is making India an emerging destination for medical tourism.

Indian pharma industry is the third largest in terms of volume and thirteenth largest in terms of value. India is exporting quality drugs to around 200 countries.

Our traditional system is also contributing significantly for growth of health and wellness; India has given international Yoga day to the world.

On vision for health and family welfare

Universal quality care that is affordable, accessible, and safe for the masses is the focus of Indian healthcare. Presently, accessibility and quality care at affordable cost for all are challenges to be met.

Government and private collaborative work is the need of the day to bring healthcare transformation with use of technology and innovations. There is need to enhance ethical environment and self-regulation for stakeholders of healthcare. All activities should be planned and executed keeping in focus patient first. Healthcare should be priority.

Increasing access, improving quality, and lowering the cost of healthcare delivery can be achieved by way of multistakeholder approach with partnership strategies.

Government should invite the private sector in policy making in all areas of health-sector industry and government should be a facilitator rather than only a regulator. There is need to increase the public expenditure to at least 2.5 percent GDP.

On mandate of the department of health and family welfare what were the challenges you faced

The primary objective of Department of Health and Family Welfare is in shaping, developing, and implement health systems in all its dimensions for preventive, promotive, and curative services including medical education.

Today in India, more than two-third of healthcare delivery is being done by the private sector; there is unequal distribution of healthcare facilities in rural and urban areas. Majority of our population lives in rural areas where very few facilities exist. People have to travel long distances to seek care resulting in financial hardship for families. There is lack of human resource, funds, supplies, and attitude in public health system. Health is poorly regulated.

On areas requiring government investment

Today, nearly 70 percent of life-saving equipment and devices are imported resulting in higher healthcare cost. Industry friendly, easy business, and incentive-based policies for start-up and Make in India projects shall decrease the import of equipment and devices.

Other areas where government should invest are innovation, use of IT and mobile technology for healthcare, medical research and clinical trials, and health insurance. Private resources should be used for running public health facilities efficiently. Minimum standards of care should be enforced at all types of healthcare facilities, and in skill development and promotion of wellness.

On the accusation of meddling with pricing policy

At present, healthcare is poorly regulated. Price control of devices and drugs is a good effort to bring down cost of care but caution is needed while fixing prices keeping in mind views of industry and other stakeholders. Price control should not become a deterrent for growth of industry and availability of devices in the market. Simultaneously there is need to build a culture of self-regulation and an ethical environment.

On impact of GST

Healthcare services are exempted from preview of GST but due to increase in tax rate for consumables, drugs, and dialysis etc. there is lack of clarity at present.

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