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CII Partnership Summit 2019 discuss ways on how healthcare as an industry can drive India’s growth strategy

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Sanjeeva Kumar,Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, spoke about the Allied Health Professional Bill that was recently introduced in the Lok Sabha

On the sidelines of the CII’s Partnership Summit 2019 held in Mumbai, leaders from the government and private sector came together to deliberate on how healthcare as an industry can drive India’s growth strategy. The topic of discussion was ‘Healthcare development as a key component of a growth strategy.’ Leaders present for the discussion were Sanjeeva Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Partha Dey, Lead Healthcare, IBM, Sumit Goel, Partner, IGH- Healthcare Management KPMG India, Sangeeta Pikale, Director, Maharashtra Healthcare Sector Skill Council and Archana Shukla, Assistant Editor, CNBC TV 18.

The discussion began with Kumar’s address where he spoke on the progress of Ayushman Bharat and the commitment of the government towards improving healthcare services and overall health of the nation. He also provided an update on the proposed health centres under the Ayushman Bharat scheme and said that the target is to have 1,50,000 health centres by 2022 of which around 5000 health centres are currently operational. He also spoke about the government’s vision for Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Pikale spoke on the need for PPPs on primary healthcare and how they would be beneficial in strengthening public health within the country. The central government should tie up with smaller nursing homes and private health centres across the country in order to provide a better primary and preventive healthcare. She spoke on the wellness identification number wherein all patient data would be available through a unique number. She even emphasised on having a strong network of GPs and providing them with incentives to keep the wellness quotient high amongst citizens.

Dey emphasised on the importance of AI and technology in healthcare. He also spoke on the topic of telemedicine becoming the backbone for providing health services in the rural areas. He also mentioned how doctors are incorporating technology in their daily practice. Pikale chipped in stating that in her opinion, most doctors are technologically challenged, making it to be an uphill task to ensure that they are well acquainted with digital technology. Further speaking on doctor-patient communication she said that doctors have mastered the art of medicine but have failed in mastering the art of effective communication.

Goel tried to address quality issues in healthcare. He spoke about domestic innovation and its impact on healthcare costs. Citing examples of the orthopaedic implants and stent controversies, he spoke about the mindset which patients and doctors have about MNC products having better quality as compared to Indian counterparts. He also highlighted the need to focus on outcome-based parameters to judge the quality.

The panellists also discussed on the talent gap within the healthcare sector. As part of the discussion, Kumar mentioned that the Allied Health Professional Bill, recently introduced in the Lok Sabha, will help to bridge the talent gap.

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