Abhishek Jain
General Manager - Corporate Development,
Siddh Multi-Specialty Hospital

Healthcare – A New Era In India

Today for Indian government and private sector, healthcare industry has become the first choice in their agenda; moreover, for investment purpose also, the Indian healthcare industry is a preferred sector for strategic and financial investments. The advent of major private players in the early 2000s and increasing investments from the government have transformed the healthcare industry into one of the largest industries in terms of revenue and employment. Day by day, all central as well as private sector increase their budget allocation by 20 to 30 percent but it is not enough as every day in India awareness regarding health is increasing and people are also fixing their budget for health insurance, so there should be at least increase in 40 to 50 percent budget allocation at the present moment.

Our vision is to provide affordable, accessible, sustainable, high quality essential healthcare for all. Special focus is on the poor, mothers and children, and elderly, and those living in underserved areas. Emphasis is being given on the development and maintenance of standards of service in hospitals and healthcare facilities. A major issue is high cost for all including infrastructure, equipment, etc. Because of these issues, maintaining quality is becoming a big issue even as we Indians do not understand the value of quality; some organizations want to maintain quality but people do not allow them especially in smaller city non-metro regions because of illiteracy. The challenges affecting implementation includes human resources and staffing issues, infrastructure, resources allocation and geography, referrals and marketing, leadership support, and team dynamics and processes.

Public private partnership (PPP) is always very useful as current example for the same is Ayushman Bharat scheme. Some places like Bhamashah in Rajasthan is giving boost to the health industry. Lots of private hospitals are taking and giving benefits for the same to public and government. The most high profile PPP in the country today must be the Chiranjeevi program launched by the Gujarat government. Gujarat is one of the most industrialized states in the country and a major hub of the pharmaceutical industry. In addition to these schemes, government should focus on pricing and simplicity in their scheme; these kinds of schemes can be provided to the middle class people as all schemes currently are aimed  only toward BPL or poor class. For middle class people, government can charge yearly some premium. Also state government should simplify the process for getting good hospitals in their states so that more medical facilities could be available for the people.

Health policy should also be mandatory for every person who is paying income tax. In all schools vaccination chart can be maintained by school authority as we are aware that for vaccination in initial days, people are very sincere but after 5 years of age they do not bother or forget the same. For qualified doctors some scheme from government should be made so that doctor who is going outside the country for practice or job should remain within the country. Foreign countries provide much better facilities than our country to Indian surgeons and consultants. Major hurdle or practice that government centers is referring easy cases to private practitioners; private practitioners refer difficult cases to district hospitals. Government centers do not wish to operate outside fixed hours (and deliveries take place when least expected) and obstetricians under the government contract do not want to handle complications.

As the bulk of poor Indians seeking care visit the private sector, efforts to include the private sector within a formal planning and monitoring system for healthcare service delivery through the PPP approach should be welcomed. However, current efforts are inadequate on many counts and the problems must be addressed if a robust, accountable, and quality PPP mechanism has to be developed. Conclusion of all these ideas put forward is that healthcare industry is definitely important and is fast growing, but few changes in policy and infrastructure are required for making it cost effective along with good quality assurance by public and government sector.

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