Dr (Col) Prabal Deb
Director – Lab Operations and Chief Histopathologist,
Clinical Reference Lab

The Dynamics Of Healthcare Is Changing, Especially In Terms Of Laboratory Diagnostics Services

The healthcare market in India is bifurcated into the public sector and the private sector. In India, private sector constitutes a large part, almost 74 percent of the total healthcare expenditure. Government’s investment in healthcare sector is very limited. Whereas globally, a major portion of healthcare system is funded by the government. Globally, health insurance completely covers diagnostics services, hospitalization, treatment, and medications. This reduces out-of-pocket medical expenses significantly. But in India, health insurance penetration rate is only 20 percent.

On budgetary allocation in healthcare

As a leading diagnostics company, we welcome the increased budget allocation to healthcare by the government. The focus given to the diagnostics sector and primary healthcare is also a welcome step because the conversation is not just about treatment anymore, but also about wellness. Government’s plan to revamp the healthcare system also includes changing the policies as well as the health insurance ecosystem. This change will help to address the gaps in India’s healthcare.

On monitoring the quality of private healthcare

The unique selling proposition of private healthcare is unparalleled quality of medical facilities to provide people with the best treatment services. Accreditation is another way to assure people about the quality of services provided by any organization.

SRL Diagnostics aims to provide its customers with world-class diagnostic facilities. The company’s vision is driven by the philosophy to provide high-quality accurate tests/outcomes at affordable prices to the masses. Our mission is to deliver gold standard diagnostic services, both in laboratory medicine and radiology, including high-end imaging services. SRL Diagnostics continues to revolutionize India’s diagnostic services by introducing the most specialized technologies and innovative services.

To that end, SRL flagship lab at Mumbai was the first lab in India to have the CAP and NABL accreditation and over the years, has claimed NABL and CAP accreditation for more than forty four labs.

On importance of public private partnership in making healthcare a success

Public private partnership (PPP) allows private players to come together with the government to provide a stable platform where people are benefitted by world-class infrastructure offered by the private sector. Significant reduction in costs is another benefit of PPP models which has made it popular among public as well as private players. SRL is also engaged in PPP with the governments of Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand to provide quality access to primary healthcare facilities.

On areas where government should invest to make healthcare available to everyone

Investment in healthcare sector by the government is the need of the hour. All the three arms of the health services- primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare require attention from the government. Changes in policy to boost regularization, banking on social services to ease access to government health services, addressing rising tertiary-level healthcare costs, and increasing awareness about the need to adopt preventive healthcare are some key areas where the government needs to focus on. 

On changing dynamics of healthcare

With the rapid advancements in molecular biology and ready availability of novel diagnostic tests in India, the dynamics of healthcare is changing, especially in terms of laboratory diagnostics services. The function of today’s pathologist is not only confined to diagnosis but has also evolved into a prognostic as well as predictive role. By virtue of this he needs to address how a disease process is going to progress and what are the optimal therapeutic regimes for any particular disease.

With the ready availability of trained resources, high level expertise, large work volume, immense healthcare-related data, and low operating cost, the diagnostic industry in India is strongly perched. This, in conjunction with the proactive government policy to reach to the grass root level, will soon place India on the global map.

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