'We need to build ca­pac­i­ties'

CK Mishra, Health Sec­re­tary tells R&M that the gov­ern­ment has done a lot to reach last mile for health ser­vices and now fo­cus is on un­der­served ar­eas

Rural & Marketing - - HEALTHCARE -

India is fac­ing dual dis­ease bur­den. What mea­sures the Min­istry is tak­ing to meet this chal­lenge?

Health Min­istry has de­cided to im­ple­ment uni­ver­sal screen­ing for di­a­betes, hy­per­ten­sion and three types of can­cer for every­one over 30 years in 100 dis­tricts. The tar­get is to en­sure that once there is a fullscale roll­out, ev­ery In­dian is screened for these dis­eases at least once in three years. We will go be­yond screen­ing and it will be based on ‘ Test and Treat’ model. The pro­gramme will be in­te­grated with one of re­fer­rals so that any early signs are treated to pre-empt “cat­a­strophic health ex­penses” which many of these dis­eases en­tail. Hy­per­ten­sion and di­a­betes are the first warn­ing signs of heart dis­ease and stroke.

All said and done, it is widely ad­mit­ted that the gov­ern­ment has failed to pro­vide last mile health­care ser­vice. Is that a cor­rect pro­jec­tion?

It is not cor­rect to say that the gov­ern­ment failed to de­liver in last mile health ser­vices. We have im­proved ru­ral health­care un­der Mis­sion mode. What we need now is to build ca­pac­i­ties. In­fra­struc­ture is not prob­lem. Main chal­lenge is how to build ca­pac­i­ties to meet the grow­ing de­mand. So go­ing for­ward, we have iden­ti­fied 184 pock­ets in the coun­try where we need to fo­cus more on health ser­vice de­liv­ery. For ex­am­ple, only eight states in the coun­try ac­counts for 70 per­cent ma­ter­nal deaths. We need to fo­cus on those ar­eas where health ser­vice de­liv­ery is poor and need im­prove­ment. That is why our new plans, pro­grammes and schemes are be­ing pre­pared in such a way that im­proves ca­pac­ity and cater un­der-served lo­ca­tions es­pe­cially ru­ral ar­eas.

What is new in New Health Pol­icy 2017?

There are many. The Pol­icy’s main thrust is on Uni­ver­sal Health Cov­er­age and Af­ford­able qual­ity health care ser­vices for all. More­over, it pro­motes qual­ity of care, with a fo­cus on emerg­ing dis­eases and in­vest­ment in pro­mo­tive and preven­tive health­care.

You said that the Pol­icy en­vis­ages private sec­tor col­lab­o­ra­tion, but there is a trust deficit be­tween the gov­ern­ment and the in­dus­try? How this can be tack­led to take the sec­tor to next level?

The health­care sec­tor needs huge fund­ing. It is a fact that the gov­ern­ment alone can­not meet the chal­lenges. Public Private Part­ner­ships(PPPs) are the best so­lu­tions. We need to work on pro­cesses so that no­body- pa­tient, ser­vice providers and de­vice man­u­fac­tur­ers or sup­plier- is ex­ploited. The gov­ern­ment can take care of Pri­mary and Com­mu­nity health cen­tres with free drugs. But for free di­ag­nos­tic would come with private par­tic­i­pa­tion with new in­sur­ance schemes. Though health in­sur­ance cov­er­age is widen­ing, but what is not ris­ing is ben­e­fit. The gov­ern­ment can­not pro­vide wide range of health ser­vices through in­sur­ance but the private sec­tor can. If we could bring down out of pocket ex­penses from 58 per­cent to 50 per­cent with the sup­port of in­sur­ance schemes, it will make huge change. While mak­ing the new pol­icy the gov­ern­ment has taken views of all.

But the Private sec­tor or In­dus­try is not happy with reg­u­la­tions es­pe­cially medical de­vice pric­ing mech­a­nism. How would the is­sue be re­solved?

First of all, there is no con­sen­sus among in­dus­try peo­ple them­selves. It is ad­mit­ted that there are gaps on both sides. There is a price mech­a­nism based on well es­tab­lished prac­tices and de­lib­er­a­tions. It is also very trans­par­ent. It makes sense to have a proper price mech­a­nism so that no­body is ex­ploited. There are, at times, dis­con­tent re­gard­ing ten­der­ing process es­pe­cially ‘L1’ process. I think if ca­pa­ble play­ers are com­pet­ing then this process pro­vides qual­ity stuff, we need.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.