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To Flourish, India’s Healthcare Sector Needs A Private Touch

A snapshot of last ten years and a subsequent analysis of available information will show that India’s healthcare sector has seen considerable progress. The strengthening economy and the government’s growing intent to fortify India’s position in global healthcare, over time, have been the catalysts for much of the progress.

Accessibility continues to pose a challenge

One of the appeals of India, from the point of view of economic development, is its population – currently 1.2 billion and growing at the rate of 1.6% per annum. But the same population poses substantial challenge for the healthcare ecosystem, even with all its progression, when it comes to accessing quality treatment and proper healthcare benefits, especially in the remote parts of rural India.

66% of India’s population lives in the rural parts of the country. Income level is below standard for most part with average monthly surplus at a mere Rs 1413. For the people of villages in the backward regions hardly have access to hospitals or medical centres, and those that are there lack proper facilities and technologies required to treat serious medical conditions.

Private participation is necessary

India is a federal country. But the Constitution of India has put the responsibility of healthcare on the states instead of the federal administration. This has had an unfortunate effect on the investment level in the healthcare sector. While the Government has launched Ayushman Bharat, world’s largest public-funded healthcare scheme, the need for private participation will continue to grow in importance, especially in rural India. High-end diagnostic services require heavy capital investment which can be driven by the private sector if it has to cater to the greater proportion of the populace. Yet currently, the organised market’s contribution to Indian healthcare sector is a mere 6 percent. It is therefore clear that India will have to talk the large private players into increasing their play in the healthcare space.

Vedanta’s contribution in creating accessibility, affordability and quality

One such large corporation that has already created considerable footprint through its contribution in the healthcare is Vedanta. The company’s voluntary initiatives in the space are far from trivial. Especially the Balco Medical Centre that Vedanta has set up as a part of Vedanta Medical Research Foundation, established to contribute to prevent, control and eradicate cancer – one of the world’s most grievous diseases.

The medical centre has effectively introduced modern, comprehensive and high quality medical care and brought it within the reach and means of rural India. Initially introduced to cater to the people of the region of Chhattisgarh, it has gained tremendous popularity among the people of India due to its affordability and quality.

Treatment of cancer is an expensive proposition. Very few people of India can actually afford it; many stories abound of people and families bankrupted by it. The Balco Medical Centre has unprecedentedly opened up a viable avenue for the common people.

With five fully-equipped operation theatres and attendant ICU facilities, the 170-bed oncology centre has treated over 4,000 cancer patients since its inauguration a year back. The centre is devoted to early detection, precise diagnosis, treatment and regular follow-up along with physical and emotional rehabilitation of cancer patients.

Equipped with a world-class diagnostic centre and best-in-class clinical laboratories, the facility has rapidly built a reputation for itself as a leading cancer hospital in India that has made accessible superior treatment and care that was, even a year back, unthinkable for the ordinary folks.

Setting precedent for a healthier India

Such an endeavour makes India hopeful that more corporates will join hands in bringing global medical facilities to the country’s doorstep. It will assist the government and the people of the country to relieve the country of financial burdens that currently weighs down the economy and hurts its progress. – Millennium Post

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