Rural Health facilities to be transformed into Wellness Centres: Health Minister

At NATHEALTH annual conference with a theme ‘Reinvent-Empower-Heal,’ industry leaders, experts and policy makers deliberated on  enhancing quality, access and affordability 

Rural Health facilities to be transformed into Wellness Centres: Health Minister

To make healthcare accessible, affordable, transparent and easy for the poor,especially rural populace, the Government has taken several initiatives such as National Health Policy and Ayushman Bharat  and these initiatives would fulfil the dream of a Healthy India ( Swasth Bharat) by 2022, Ashwini Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare said while releasing Knowledge Papers on Healthcare issues at   NATEv2018- the 5th Annual event of Healthcare Federation of India (NATHEALTH) on Friday. 

“The focus of the government is to transform primary healthcare to help underserved section and 1.5 lakh Primary Health Centres would be transformed into well-equipped Wellness Centres. Within a very short span of time, we have transformed 4500 such centres into Wellness Centres and efforts are on to transform all soon,” the Minister added.

On the occasion, Choubey released two Knowledge Papers-“Financing and Funding Indian Healthcare: Navigating The Turbulent Tide,” prepared by NATHEALTH & PwC and a NATHEALTH-Bain & Co-Knowledge Paper on “Impact of Operational Excellence in Healthcare.” 

The Minister, further said, “Prime Minister Office and Health Ministry both are working to implement a full-proof and robust National Health Protection Scheme. Very soon all modalities will be finalised. The Scheme presents an opportunity for the relevant stakeholders to redefine and reorganise themselves and adopt new components of people, process and technology in their business models, in order to make a robust health economy.” 

Speaking at the inaugural session, Dr RK Vats, Additional Secretary and Director General, CGHS, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said, “We need to bring in drug security in the country and to achieve this goal the government is supporting industry in every possible manner. The government is bringing in new sets of rules and standards to make entire healthcare industry robust. New sets of rules and standards would apply to Pharma, Med Tech, Devices and even clinical trials segments of Healthcare sector.” 

“The government is focusing on ease of doing business and new rules will be in place with wider consultations only. For clinical trials, the Department is seeking suggestions from all stakeholders to come out with new rules and standards. Very soon new rules and standards will be in place,” he added.

The Knowledge Papers, released today, highlighted rising patient consumerism, expansion of the continuum of care, a shift towards quality-based care, increasing patient participation, the use of technology in delivering care, and increasing insurance penetration are some of the disruptive trends which the Indian health economy is currently witnessing.

“NATEv2018, with a theme ‘Reinvent-Empower-Heal,’ focuses on enhancing quality, access and affordability of healthcare services in India. A robust healthcare ecosystem is the primary concern for all stakeholders of the sector including Government,” said Dr Arvind Lal, President, NATHEALTH.

The event saw top healthcare leaders, experts and policy makers brainstorming and sharing views on critical issues related to healthcare sector. In a session on “Top Clinicians: Concerns and Challenges in today’s Healthcare” where panellists from leading healthcare institutions discussed on rising trust deficit between patients/families and healthcare professionals. The experts shared their views on informed consent, the cost and efficacy of different treatment paths/choices, time-starved professionals, information-starved patients, medical liability and how these need to come together for productive and harmonious relationship between the healthcare professionals and the patients/family.

“We discussed in detail about Healthcare Financing & Funding to explore opportunities for investors and analyse the emerging trends of financing in healthcare sector. The session on ‘Financing and Funding’ contributed towards the goal of ‘Empower’ as the sector faces acute financial crunch to meet the growing needs of healthcare infrastructure,” said Anjan Bose, Secretary General, NATHEALTH. 

A session on “Medical Tourism” explored opportunities for reinventing various elements of Indian healthcare and the session was followed by discussion on “Primary care: Health and Beyond…Strategies for a better India” which had in-depth discussion on transforming India’s Primary Healthcare system and how to make it better.  The valedictory session focused on the newly announced National Health Protection Scheme -“Ayushman Bharat.” 

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