Private sector health facilities have to supplement governmental efforts in achieving health outcomes: Vice President

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The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu addressing the gathering after inaugurating the state-of-the-art Rainbow Children’s Hospital, in New Delhi on February 14, 2018. The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Shri J.P. Nadda and other dignitaries are also seen.

 

New Delhi: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the health outcomes cannot be achieved by the government institutions alone and the private sector health facilities have to supplement governmental efforts. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the State-of-the-art Rainbow Children’s Hospital, here today. The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Shri J.P. Nadda and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that the childhood malnutrition continues to be a serious public health concern and a development challenge in India. He further said that with under five mortality rate in India at 43 per 1,000 live births, Infant Mortality Rate at 34 per 1,000 live births and Neonatal Mortality Rates at 25 per 1,000 live births, it is estimated that 10.8 lakh under five children die annually. The major causes of child mortality in India include prematurity and low birth weight, pneumonia and diarrheal diseases, among others, he added.

The Vice President said that there has to be a greater health awareness and health-seeking behavior among people. The new National Health Protection Scheme can potentially make a huge difference in the lives of the poor impacting both their physical as well as economic well being, he added.

The Vice President said that while there is a need for setting up more specialized children’s hospitals, the private sector must ensure that the treatment provided by them is not only accessible but also affordable. He further said that the Vedic rishis had prayed for a world free from disease – Sarve Santu Niraamayaa. In order to create a healthier India, we need the active participation of the private sector and philanthropists, he added.

The Vice President congratulated Dr. Ramesh Kancharla and his partners for starting Rainbow Hospitals exclusively for children with state-of-the-art treatment facilities in New Delhi. He expressed hope that Rainbow Children’s Hospital will continue its noble mission of providing specialized care to children and contribute to the larger national mission of ensuring all infants survive and thrive, growing up into healthy, active citizens of new India we all aspiring for.

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

“I am delighted to inaugurate the state-of-the-art Rainbow Children’s Hospital.

Early childhood, as you all are aware, plays a crucial role in the overall physical, emotional and social well-being of an individual in the later years. The experience in childhood leaves a profound impact and lays the foundation for the future. A child who is well nurtured nutritionally and emotionally will not only be happy but also stay healthy. But, according to UNICEF, nearly 43 per cent of children under five years in low and middle income countries are not getting the nutrition, protection and the stimulation they need.

India has a number of health challenges. Infant and child health is one of them.

With under five mortality rate in India at 43 per 1,000 live births, Infant Mortality Rate at 34 per 1,000 live births and Neonatal Mortality Rates at 25 per 1,000 live births, it is estimated that 10.8 lakh under five children die annually.

The major causes of child mortality in India include prematurity and low birth weight, pneumonia and diarrheal diseases, among others.

It is indeed a daunting challenge for India to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of bringing neonatal mortality from the current level of 25 to 12 per 1,000 live births and under five mortality rate from 43 to 25 per 1,000 live births by 2030.

I am glad that India has initiated several measures to improve the healthcare facilities and health indicators, including those relating to Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR).

It calls for multi-pronged effort. We must improve maternal and child health simultaneously. We must encourage institutional deliveries. We must enhance the quality of preventive and curative facilities. Public health system needs to be made more effective and qualitatively upgraded.

Health outcomes cannot be achieved by the government institutions alone. The private sector health facilities have to supplement governmental efforts. In addition, there has to be a greater health awareness and health-seeking behavior among people. There has to be a better understanding of sanitation, hygiene and adequate nutrition among all sections of the population.

Childhood malnutrition continues to be a serious public health concern and a development challenge in India. A recent national survey shows that around 38 per cent children below five years are stunted and around 36 per cent are underweight. Children who are undernourished have significantly higher risk of mortality and morbidity.

Sisters and Brothers,

Studies have shown that focused and target-oriented health schemes can make a difference and improve outcomes. It is the duty of all stakeholders in the health sector—not only of those in the government–to play their part and contribute towards improving healthcare facilities and thereby enable better health outcomes.

I am sure, the Government’s announcement of National Health Protection Scheme to provide medical insurance to 10 crore poor and needy families will contribute towards improvement in maternal and child health indicators. Similarly, the Government’s proposal to establish 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres across the country to provide comprehensive healthcare, including maternal and child health services, is expected to improve outcomes.

While the government is taking all measures to develop healthcare facilities and infrastructure, the private sector too must chip in under the CSR programme or establish affordable healthcare centres.

In this context, I congratulate Dr. Ramesh Kancharla for starting Rainbow Hospital exclusively for children with state-of-the-art treatment facilities in New Delhi.

I have known Rainbow Children’s Hospital for a very long time and have seen how the group has grown, right from its inception. Dr. Ramesh and his brother, Dr. Ravindranath hail from my neighboring village in Nellore district. Dr. Ramesh’s father always wanted his sons to become doctors as there was not a single doctor in the entire block. Both the brothers have fulfilled their father’s wishes.

The Indian private healthcare has witnessed phenomenal growth over the last two decades. But the focus has been primarily on adult heath care– be it heart care, neuro care or ortho care. However, there is a severe shortage of exclusive and specialized health care facilities for women and children.

With children constituting nearly 40% of India’s population and considering the huge challenge of meeting the basic healthcare needs of mothers and children, India needs many more specialized, pediatric care doctors and nursing professionals. I am told that hospitalized children under age 2 require 45% more routine nursing care.

While there is a need for setting up more specialized children’s hospitals, the private sector must ensure that the treatment provided by them is not only accessible but also affordable. More such state-of-the-art healthcare facilities have to be set up in rural areas, particularly in remote areas, may be even through public-private partnership. With majority of Indians meeting their medical expenses through out-of-pocket expenses, the poor and needy must be provided medical insurance to ensure that the costs of hospitalization do not push them into debt traps. Many states are already implementing health insurance schemes. The new National Health Protection Scheme can potentially make a huge difference in the lives of the poor impacting both their physical as well as economic well being.

The recent Health Index report compiled by NITI Aayog showed huge variance among States. While Kerala, Punjab and Tamil Nadu were the top performing States, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh were the bottom five. We have clearly a long way to go.

The Vedic Rishis had prayed for a world free from disease. Sarve Santu Niraamayaa. In order to create a healthier India, we need the active participation of the private sector and philanthropists. We need a coordinated approach. We need to work towards a well functioning healthcare system that responds to diverse healthcare needs of different age groups in our population. It should be a system with highest standards of professional competence. It should have the best talent in the world. It should be accessible to all sections and be affordable.

I do hope the Rainbow Children’s Hospital will continue its noble mission of providing specialized care to children and contribute to the larger national mission of ensuring all infants survive and thrive, growing up into healthy, active citizens of the new India we all aspiring for. I wish your hospital, like the rainbow after the rain, should bring good cheer to many families and smiles on the faces of many children in the years to come.

Jai Hind!”