8 Mar 2014

Healthcare Alliance Recommendations Presented to the President

The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee
The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee was presented Healthcare Alliance recommendations by knowledge partners and industry partners, here today. The four papers presented to the President were on control of NCDs through primary and preventive healthcare; Public Private People Partnership (PPPP); talent fast forward; and upskill, upscale and innovation for universal access.

Speaking at the occasion President said that these innovative initiatives of industry, private sector and global consultancy are supported by luminaries of healthcare sector India and abroad. Several leading bodies have come together for this noble cause of good health for Nation building. The President emphasised that healthy citizens are integral to building healthy economy.

 There is fundamental coordination between nation and health of its citizens. Efficient healthcare delivery system should be of high quality and affordable. Health indices need to improve to achieve MDGs and the WHO mandate. Need of the hour is greater convergence of all stakeholders towards common goal, noted the President.

The President said that the Government had launched National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) for restructuring of health services in rural India and now National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) has been launched with focus on urban poor. It aims to make available essential healthcare to urban poor decreasing out of pocket expenditure. He noted that NCDs are world’s biggest health challenge .They have significant global burden and will pose significant threat to India’s Healthcare programme.

The president highlighted the importance of education, innovation and technology. Education is a powerful driver for health. Healthcare infrastructure and initiatives need to be complemented with education especially of girl child. He further added that innovative models can improve situation in India and provide insight to the developing world.

 He quoted that India is the largest manufacturer and exporter of medicines and provides cost efficiency to world in generic medicines. Information Technology can be a strong enabler in extending reach of healthcare. ICT companies should focus on strengthening healthcare through mobiles. Mobile is now in the hand of millions of Indians, added the President.

Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that healing tradition has flourished in India since Vedic Age. The tradition of Ayurveda has been very popular. Today traditional Indian healthcare respected world over. We may develop new cures for new age problems. India has been recognised for innovation and professional skills. All stakeholders need to make collective efforts to achieve good health for all. The need is to induce in all a passion for healthy living.

The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad expressed happiness that the stakeholders, enlisted by the Health care alliance, addressed some of the biggest challenges facing healthcare in this conference and have come up with useful recommendations. He said that with careful and measured steps and forging partnerships, the urban-rural paradox can be reversed and issues of inequity addressed.

Shri Azad highlighted that tremendous progress has been made in the last 5 years in all areas, whether it was polio eradication, improving health indicators, building infrastructure, increasing human resources or innovations in health research. As far as Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are concerned, Health Ministry launched a National Programme in 2010 focused on early diagnosis, screening, prevention, treatment and control in 100 districts of 21 states.

The Health Minister expressed happiness that considerable progress has been made under the national programme. He said that 5.3 crore persons have been screened for diabetes and 5.00 crore for hypertension; 83 dedicated NCD Clinics and 61 Cardiac Care Units have been established in selected districts ; and there is a provision for Chemotherapy services in the selected districts.

 He highlighted that a unique cost effective device called “Swasthya Slate”, which will help in screening for blood sugar, blood pressure, blood haemoglobin, ECG, heart rate, malaria and pregnancy among other urine and blood tests in the remotest areas has been launched recently by the Government. For awareness creation, a unique initiative called Swasth Bharat was started by Health Ministry under which 12,000 empanelled specialists have appeared in over 30,000 programmes on 59 Regional Doordarshan and AIR Channels across the country.

Shri Azad said that Public Private Partnership (PPP) is an efficient tool for optimal utilization of resources. There are successful examples of PPPs in the health sector which can be built upon further, whether they are in running ambulance services, diagnostic facilities or participation in service delivery under national health programmes. In the area of fostering talent and up-skilling, an appreciable initiative is the setting up of the “Healthcare Sector Skill Council” by the National Skills Development Corporation and CII, to develop standards for allied healthcare and actively participate in the development of curriculum, assessment and certification process.

The Health Minister noted that there has been a revolution in innovations in health research and development. The translational research programme, launched by the Government in 2010, has identified about 75 leads or prototypes to be developed into technologies.

 In just last 4 years, several indigenously developed products like domestic vaccine and reagents for influenza-A H1N1, vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis (JE), detection kit for Thallassemia and Sickle Cell, device for detection of cervical cancer, etc have been launched.

Healthcare Alliance includes five important industry bodies in health namely All India Management Association (AIMA), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Healthcare Federation of India (NATHEALTH). 

It includes four knowledge partners of global eminence – Bain & Company, KPMG, McKinsey & Company, and PwC. The research and policy think tank Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) is the technical resources group and Apollo Hospitals is the coordinating partner.

Present at the occasion were the Health Ministers of Maldives, Mozambique and Mongolia, officials from WHO, Dr Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group, Prof (Dr) Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India, Dr Jayshreeben Mehta, President, Medical Council of India and various other dignitaries. 

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