PPP in digital health can provide access and quality and catalyse Ayushman Bharat: Commerce Secretary
The experts who participated in the international digital health symposium discussed in detail important aspects of mainstreaming PPPs in digital health to address the challenges in health system
Nearly 35 experts from across the country representing leading hospital groups, diagnostic labs, medical technology companies, healthcare IT companies and health insurers spoke about how PPP in digital health can bring in affordable access and quality in the healthcare sector.
The industry roundtable on ‘Enabling Environment for PPPs (Public Private Partnerships) in Digital Health’, was organised by FICCI recently.
With the underlying note that PPPs should aim to harness the strengths and equitably distribute risks of the partners, Dr Anup Wadhawan, Secretary- Ministry of Commerce & Industry, GoI, said, “India is well positioned to give the world exemplary digital health solutions through PPPs, especially when the country has launched the world’s largest healthcare programme – Ayushman Bharat. But it is possible only with accountable and outcome-oriented models of engagement.”
He further added that Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in digital health have already started addressing many key challenges, therefore, a platform must be established to continue and strengthen dialogues and engagement between the government and the private sector, keeping patients at the centre of such discussions.
The government has acknowledged health information as one of the key dimensions of the health systems and has launched several initiatives in the field of digital health, including notification of EHR standards (in 2013, revised in 2016), National eHealth Authority (NeHA), Integrated Health Information Program (IHIP) and more recently National Health Stack (NHS).
Referring to the discussions on implementation of EHR standards that were notified in 2016, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary (eHealth), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GoI, said, “The government is keen on supporting healthcare providers for adoption of EHR standards and has set up the National Resource Centre for EHR Standards (NRCeS) at C-DAC.”
Emphasising on the need of better communication between the government and private sector healthcare, Agarwal added that further consultation with the industry will be done on NHS and urged the private sector to establish a platform where promising innovations in digital health can be showcased for adoption as PPPs.
Dr Alok Roy, Co-chair, FICCI Health Services Committee and Chairman, Medica Group of Hospitals, said, “Going digital is every hospital’s dream and there is no doubt that it can radically improve access to healthcare, patient engagement and healthcare beyond hospitals. However, digitisation requires substantial investment. The government and private healthcare organisations have to build trust for each other and work together towards digitisation in healthcare.”
Dr Rana Mehta, Partner & Leader — Healthcare, PwC India, shared that the digital revolution in healthcare has already started, with which the third dimension of access to care-technology has emerged to be as prominent as the other two — geography and finance. He also announced that FICCI will compile a roadmap for digital health in India, based on the deliberations of the group.