Strong Leadership, Communication & Decisions Based on Science, and Digital Initiatives Will Help Reset Healthcare

New Delhi: Healthcare plays an critical role in overall development of an individual and the society. Public policy, across countries and over time, has progressively assimilated this channel and attempted equitable and efficient delivery of healthcare . The need to provide healthcare which is accessible and affordable, now more than ever, becomes a necessity. Addressing the multiplicity of challenges that we face hinges on our expenditure and outlay on healthcare which is, at present, extremely low.

Technology is driving the industry whether it be with advancements in the medical device industry, or how artificial intelligence is allowing for greater precision in the identification of diseases. It is imperative that we leverage the benefits of technology in every aspect of the healthcare delivery process to ensure the best outcomes possible. We need to focus our efforts in achieving the same to ensure the welfare of the general population.

Asia Health 2020, held between the 18-20 November, provides the platform for all the stakeholders within the industry to converge creating a conducive and holistic environment to ensure the welfare of our nation’s population as well as position India as a leader in Healthcare Delivery in the Asia region. The tailwinds and opportunities presented to us are innumerable, and it will be pivotal towards redefining the Indian healthcare ecosystem.

Mr Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare addressing the inaugural session at Asia Health 2020 exhibited the three-pronged approach that India had undertaken to tackle COVID. A whole of society and whole of government approach with strong leadership, communication and decisions based on science. The strengthening of health systems by building on past efforts, by relying on current strategies, by deploying new technology, by strengthening existing partnerships and forging new partnerships. The third approach was the digital initiatives undertaken by the union government to help in our fight against COVID

Infrastructure development to establish integrated healthcare systems is currently in progress stated Dr Shah Abdullah Mahir , Hon’ble Minister of State for Health, Maldives. The realization, social acceptability and acceptance towards digital healthcare in Maldives has increased due to COVID. Afghanistan has taken the following stringent measures to reduce the impact of COVID: distribution of medical supplies, expansion of lab facilities, training of lab and ICU care personnel expressed the Representative of the Ministry of Public Health, Afghanistan.

Ms Silvia Paula Valentim Lutucuta, Hon’ble Minister for Health, Angola stated the Government of Angola is making a great effort in achieving Universal Health Coverage based on solid primary healthcare that considers not only preventive measures and treatment but also the quality of care. We are convinced of the role that technology and scientific advancement has to play in containing COVID.

Amidst the pandemic, the use of digital technology and AI have been effective in dealing with the pandemic and routine health services. The use of technology in health has helped for more equitable and transparent health service to our people expressed Lyonpo Dechen Wangmo, Hon’ble Minister for Health, Bhutan.

Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman, CII National Council on Healthcare & Chairman and Managing Director, Medanta – The Medicity expressed that the lockdown measures undertaken helped contain the spread of COVID as India was underprepared with beds, technology and PPEs. The Indian industry has promptly responded and repurposed their industrial might. With the festival season, the number of COVID cases are going to go higher for which we will need more collaboration between government and private healthcare stakeholders. Dr Trehan also urged that predictive health should be practised. He believes that if intervention is done properly then the disease burden will go away giving fiscal relief to the government.

Healthcare around the world has become the center of all discussion, debates and policy stated Ms Suneeta Reddy, Chairperson – Asia Health 2020, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals. We need to create sustainable models of healthcare in Asia and South Asia we hope the governments will make higher allocations towards healthcare and move towards Public Private Partnerships.

Mr NK Singh Chairman 15th Finance Commission of India addressing the session on Resetting Healthcare mentioned that public sector spending on health by the Center and State needs to increase. It is expected that the total expenditure of GDP will increase from 0.95% to 2.5% by 2024. It is imperative to view the entire aspect of public private partnership in a holistic manner. Private sector engagement needs to be increased at a higher level of medical specialties.

Sir Malcolm Grant Former Chairman NHS, UK said that the Covid19 pandemic has demonstrated that health is not a local or national issue. Infact it is a global issue. He emphasized that refocusing and rebooting healthcare will need to return to community and population care. We also must expect and prepare a new generation of tech savy healthcare users and therefore there is much merit in shifting the traditional focus from healthcare providers alone.

Dr Devi Shetty Chairman Narayana Health highlighted the need for financial intermediaries in healthcare. Highlighting the laudable efforts of the Government, he said he was confident that within the next 5-7 years India would be able to offer affordable and accessible healthcare to 1.3 billion of its population.

Showing concern for the disparity in payments of medical professionals’ Dr Randeep Guleria Chairman, CII Public Health Council & Director All India Institute Medical Sciences (AIIMS) emphasized on the need for having quality and uniform medical education across the country. This will help in optimum utilization of manpower in the public and the private sector

Dr Ashutosh Raghuvanshi Group CEO Fortis Healthcare said that private sector can only compliment the efforts of the public sector and not replace it.

CII Asia Health 2020 will also see Experts from USA, UK, Singapore, Israel, Russia, Bhutan, Maldives, Angola, and many other countries coming together to deliberate on thought leadership and discuss on Health, Technology, Ayurveda and how these systems can ensure healthcare delivery across Asia through India. Imminent Dignitaries, national speakers and international speakers will be addressing knowledge sessions on a wide range of issues that cuts across the healthcare spectrum looking to develop a cohesive industry engagement with core cross sectoral policy dialogues and strategic exchanges. CII is committed to the vision of putting India back on the map, with the Indian healthcare leading the way.

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