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Major healthcare federations meet in Delhi to take stock of COVID-19 situation

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Number of key decisions were taken in this meeting building upon experience of private sector in aftermath of pandemic

Cutting across the entire healthcare ecosystem, top leaders and representatives from major healthcare federations AHPI, FICCI, CII, NATHEALTH, ASSOCHAM, Indian Chamber of Commerce, PhD Chamber of Commerce, PHANA, NASSCOM and a number of nursing healthcare federations met in Delhi to take stock of the COVID situation. On the occasion of Doctor’s Day, the top leadership also expressed gratitude to all doctors, nurses, frontline workers, and support professionals who are putting their lives at risk to serve people affected by this pandemic. Captured in social media under #WestandwithIndia, these stories are powerful narratives of the constructive role that the entire private sector is playing to help our nation overcome this pandemic and restore normalcy at the earliest.

A number of key decisions were taken in this meeting building upon the experience of the private sector in the aftermath of the pandemic. There is a need to restore normalcy of the health system and all federations collectively agreed to work together to strengthen the reference framework for public private partnerships in India including creation of a patient charter which can be formulated to help create awareness and build trust between patients, hospitals, and the broader ecosystem. A work plan can also be developed to institute value-based healthcare models and clinical outcomes to support the Government in identifying optimal outcome-based pricing models while focussing on quality and accreditation. 

One of the important lessons from this pandemic is a recognition that we need a significant expansion of the healthcare infrastructure and supporting ecosystem. It is therefore important to work together with healthcare federations and private healthcare providers to recommend to Government price and cost models for key components of healthcare delivery and help identify locations (town / cities) that are best suited for the Government to initiate public-private partnership in-order to create offline and online models of success can be replicated and scaled.

Expressing the discussed views from the joint Federations meeting, Siddhartha Bhattacharya, Secretary General, NATHEALTH- Healthcare Federation of India said, “In light of the private health sector currently facing great economic headwinds and a sustainability challenge, the federations recognised the immediate need to support Government and general population by providing healthcare at subsidised and often below costs. But it strongly urged the private insurance sector represented by GIC to shoulder their end of the responsibility in this pandemic and not unilaterally bargain for general category beds which are heavily discounted for the Government and economically weaker section of the society. A key question that was deliberated in this meeting was whether insured higher category eligible paying customers are to be treated at par with ward category of patients and the federations jointly recommended broad based consultations before insurance rate publications so as to avoid any miscommunication to the consumer about eligibility and entitlement.”

The meeting reinforced the need to create a unified platform where different federations representing key stakeholders can create consolidated industry positions on key building blocks that can fast track India’s journey towards universal health coverage and help innovate a unique health system ‘Made in India’ for India.

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