The Healthcare Federation of India (NATHEALTH) organized its 2nd Western Roundtable meeting in Mumbai and deliberated on host of issues related to healthcare sector in India. Policymakers, experts and Governing Council members of NATHEALTH focused on recently announced National Health Policy (NHP 2017), Implications of Goods & Service Tax (GST) and priority areas which included Public Private Partnership (PPP), Digital Health, Home Care and Prevention & Wellness.
Apart from NATHEALTH’s President Dr. Arvind Lal & Secretary General Mr. Anjan Bose, all members of the GC, representing several different segments of the healthcare sector participated in the Roundtable. Credited with several initiatives in Maharashtra, the Health Minister Dr. Deepak Sawant, Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare, Government of Maharashtra spoke about several initiatives of the State government to push health infrastructure development.
Opening the discussion, Dr Sawant said, “NATHEALTH and Government of Maharashtra especially Health Department should join hands together to make a new history in medical science and healthcare.” You (NATHEALTH) want to serve humanity, we (Maharashtra Government) want to serve humanity, that is our common goal. NATHEALTH’s recommendations, assistance, projects and solutions are valuable to all and Maharashtra for improving healthcare ecosystem,” he added.
Emphasing on Public Private Partnership (PPP) model for better healthcare service delivery, Dr. Sawant said, “Like the Centre, Maharashtra government has also outsourced diagnostic, screening and other services. Policy framework of PPP is in place. For example in dealing with Swine flue we collaborated with Lal Path Labs and such projects can be scaled up.”
The Minister informed that the Health Department is opening up 31 CT Scan Centers in several districts of the State, but only CT Machines would not serve the purpose, we would need supplementary support system and that can be done on PPP model. “State government assures full support to private players and all assistance will be provided. We want to run all our Hospitals and Centers efficiently and that can be done on PPP basis,” he emphasized.
During the meeting, NATHEALTH deliberated on the GST Council’s decisions and their possible cost inflationary impact on healthcare services.
It was also shared with the participants that NATHEALTH, while welcoming exemption, also submitted its recommendations for rational rates on goods and services related to medical & health sector.
Talking about potential of PPP model in health sector, NATHEALTH President Dr. Arvind Lal said that “for higher spending in the healthcare sector, PPP projects required to be scaled up and implemented across the country and the government needs to encourage successful projects”.
“On Diagnostics side, we have submitted a detailed PPP structure to NITI Aayog and hopefully a roadmap would be ready soon. NITI Aayog will come out with guidelines which would act as advisory to the States. With this we move a step further to implementation of PPP projects,” he added.
“As far as the government is concerned, we need to sit together and chart out further course of actions. All successful PPP projects need to studied and implemented. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh have several successful projects; hence we can learn from those,” Dr. Lal said.
“We welcome Government’s recently announced NHP 2017 (National Health Policy) and we are happy to note the alignment of NATHEALTH Priorities with Government’s articulated roadmap in several areas like PPP, Preventive & wellness, Digital Health, Make in India and Healthcare funding. NATHEALTH will be keen to work with the government collaboratively for health of the nation and progress of the healthcare sector”, Anjan Bose, Secretary General, NATHEALTH said.
According to NATHEALTH AAROGYA BHARAT REPORT, non-communicable diseases will cost India $6.2 trillion by 2030. Hence, India’s unique needs drive priorities for healthcare technologies.
Experts emphasized on scaling up digital health which can lower cost and improve health outcomes and said that the proposed establishment of National Digital Health Authority (NDHA) should lead to progress of use of Information Technology (IT) in healthcare ecosystem.