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Defining the future of healthcare

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Dr Nupur Kohli,Healthcare Advisor,TedXSpeaker, Researcher, Author, Netherlands started off by saying, “Healthcare is not only about curing, but it also about caring and preventing. This in my opinion, will become more and more important for the future of healthcare.”

In her session, she drew comparisons between nations, majorly Netherlands. She highlighted the current challenges in India’s healthcare delivery system and shared learnings from global experiences which can be incorporated in the current healthcare system.

As patients and consumers get more demanding healthcare service providers will need to keep pace with this demand, she pointed out. Dr Kohli, also drew attention towards a growing number of aging population globally. She highlighted that worldwide the population in the age group of 65 and above was estimated to be 524 million in 2010 which is expected to reach nearly 1.5 billion by 2050. Most of the increase in the aging population will be in the developing countries. Laying emphasis on the rise in aging population in India, she said that the country’s aging population will triple in the next three decades. That will draw focus towards diseases such as infectious diseases, NCDs and chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia and more. She also mentioned about a WHO which warns that  a rise in the life expectancy will lead to decrease in the progress on disability. Dr Kohli further elaborated that the rising health burdens worldover is increasing pressure on healthcare workers. All this and more only indicates that healthcare will be changing faster and the only way for healthcare systems to survive is by adapting to this change. “Healthcare systems will need to have a multi-disciplinary approach towards providing care”, she maintained.

She then spoke of how Netherlands’ healthcare sector, which is known to be one of the well functioning healthcare system of the world, has been able to achieve its goal while ensuring best quality care to its people. The health system is based on private insurers, tight regulations for quality, provision for basic healthcare services and risk equalisation system. She further went on to share some interesting examples of how the healthcare sector in Netherlands- both private and government have ensured a systematic functioning of the health system. She spoke about how prescription medicines are only available with registered pharmacies. This ensures that patients get the right medicine at the right price. They also provide personalised and tailored  care to suit the needs of all patients. All of this is done by way of health collaborations between the private and public sector. She also pointed out that their health system has a very good data integration process which is well- utilised and will be be very crucial to define the future of healthcare.

Dr Kohli finally, indicated that these examples can be lessons for countries like India, wherein both the private and public sector has a crucial role to play to shape the future of healthcare delivery. “Preventive and predictive medicine will certainly be the way to go in future”, she summed up.

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