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Avoid visiting hospitals and focus toward taking charge of one’s own health: Dr Prathap C Reddy

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Dr Reddy shared his vision for healthcare in the new decade in a unique interactive FB Live broadcast that reached out to people across the world

Heralding the new year, Dr Prathap C Reddy, Founder, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group shared his vision for healthcare in the new decade in a unique interactive Facebook (FB) Live broadcast that reached out to people across the world. The interactive 30 minutes FB Live broadcast was watched by thousands of people who tuned in to listen to the visionary architect of modern Indian healthcare speak about the importance of taking charge of one’s own health in the coming decade.

Dr Reddy highlighted how the World Economic Forum had laid emphasis on the coming decade being very critical for healthcare, especially with the burgeoning disease burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Indian healthcare today is of international standards and improved accessibility and affordability of cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment capabilities have brought tremendous new hope into the lives of every Indian and also for millions around the world. However, the new decade will be challenging in terms of prevention and early detection of NCDs, which are responsible for two-thirds of the total morbidity burden and about 53 per cent of total deaths in India.

Dr Reddy emphasised on embracing a culture of ‘Predict, Prevent and Overcome’ which is the premise of the Apollo ProHealth program. He urged the audience to avoid visiting hospitals and focus toward taking charge of their own health. Apollo ProHealth – a three-year health management programme – has been specially curated and conceptualised by Apollo’s experts and innovators in preventive healthcare, basis the experience and learning of over 20 million health checks conducted by Apollo. ProHealth empowers individuals and businesses with actionable health analytics, to know and eradicate health risks, and, lead healthier and happier lives.

Dr Reddy also enlightened the audience on how the coming decade would see widespread adoption of technology in the battle against NCDs with AI-enabled Health Risk Assessors like Apollo ProHealth, which is a first of its kind, comprehensive health programme powered by Artificial Intelligence. The programme provides actionable health analytics, to know and eradicate the health risks, and lead healthier and happier lives, acting as a guide and mentor to good health. He also shed light on how it will take concerted efforts on ‘preventing preventable diseases and mortality’ that will eventually improve overall outcomes and the country’s Health Index!

He said that corporate hospitals and medical insurance had brought about a sea change for patients in the last decade giving access to healthcare comparable to the best in the world, and would continue to do so in the decade to come.

Dr Reddy also answered real-time questions that the online audience posted. To a query from a 24-year-old on why he should worry when he is young and exercises regularly, Dr Reddy said that the World Economic Forum has predicted that the world could lose over 30 trillion dollars by 2030 and about 36 million people would die every year due to NCDs. More than 80 per cent of deaths will be from NCD mostly affecting the young generation and the cost burden for India will be $4.8 trillion. Remedial action needs to be taken quickly, as one cannot afford the loss of young people at a productive age to NCDs such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity, and sleeplessness. It is necessary to be aware of and lead a healthy lifestyle with periodic health check-ups.

On a question of the cost of healthcare in India, Dr Reddy said that the cost of high-quality healthcare in India was 1/10th to 1/20th of comparable healthcare abroad. He said that insurance could help individuals meet the cost of quality healthcare.

Replying to a question on the secret of his health at the age of 86 years, he said that what kept him going was following the discipline of good health. Though he has diabetes and high blood pressure, he has learned to keep it under control with proper medicines and a disciplined lifestyle. What keeps him going at work is the pleasure of seeing people getting better and finding a solution to a new health challenge.

He also responded to a question on the quality of Indian healthcare saying that it is comparable to the best in the world with clinical outcomes at par! All technological advances in healthcare are available in India to benefit patients. The first Proton Therapy Cancer Centre in South East Asia is in India at Apollo and allows treatment of cancers that are difficult to treat with conventional therapy. He lauded the government’s Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, the world’s largest government-funded health insurance programme which has seen almost seven million benefiting from it since its launch during the year.

He spoke of how Apollo would work on powering the primary wellness centres with technology like telehealth to bridge the demand-supply gap of physicians, nurses in rural areas. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology launched SEHAT (Social Endeavour for Health and Telemedicine) in partnership with Apollo Hospitals to connect 60,000 common service centres across the country to a common network and provide healthcare access to millions of citizens irrespective of geographical location or connectivity.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year, Dr Reddy said that patients should realise the unique duality of responsibility when it comes to health. Every individual must take charge of their well-being, and alongside, collectively take care of everyone in our circle of influence and community. The new decade must see everyone coming together to prevent disease, provide care wherever it is needed and make the world a healthier and happier one! Let India lead and inspire the rest of the world to follow its successful healthcare system in the decade to come.

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