Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Vice President, Government of India in his inaugural address called for greater collaboration and engagement amongst stakeholders to re-imagine the Indian healthcare ecosystem as resilient. He further said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for strengthening healthcare infrastructure not only in India but globally. India has bravely fought the pandemic working unitedly and has set a global benchmark of achieving 180 crore vaccination. The parallel footing of rapid scaling up of diagnostic facilities in terms of ramping up healthcare infrastructure would not have been possible without the collaborative effort of both public and the private sector. We have learnt from the pandemic that the deficiencies of healthcare infra, limited penetration of digital health, inadequacy in terms of last mile delivery of healthcare services – need to be addressed immediately. There is an immense need for increasing public expenditure in healthcare.”
The Summit witnessed extensive participation from the Government of India, leaders from hospitals, medical technology and diagnostics sectors, insurance, medical education, pharmaceuticals, global multi-stakeholder organizations, start-ups, and investors. The summit saw several key agreements and reports launched to meet the burgeoning needs of a re-imagined resilient healthcare system:
- MoU with GAPIO for working in the area of skilling and upskilling, promoting innovation in healthcare financing, leveraging digital technologies for ramping up health infra, supporting the Government in the ‘Heal in India’ programme and to raise awareness around the non-communicable disease burden in India.
- Value Based Procurement paper by APACMED NATHEALTH PWC was released to execute value-based procurement system in India that can ensure better outcomes besides the reduced cost and would be beneficial for all the stakeholders in the Indian healthcare ecosystem.
- Whitepaper on embedded taxes study by NATHEALTH in collaboration with EY with an objective to support Government of India’s aim to make India an affordable healthcare destination by rationalizing the GST structure in different healthcare services.
- Vision paper on Digital Health by NATHEALTH and ADL was launched with a vision to reiterate the necessity for leveraging innovative technologies to expand the healthcare infrastructure and to bridge the existing gap in the healthcare delivery.
- Whitepaper on Homecare was launched to reduce the burden in the hospital infrastructure of the country and establish the much-needed alternative care delivery model.
- A short report on “Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission Webinar Series” was launched to eliminate obstacles towards the adoption of digital health in India and create a dialogue that speeds up a rapid scale-up and adoption of the digital health road map in India.
Speaking at the summit, Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, said, “The national health policy 2017 envisions having a digital health technology ecosystem. It recognizes the very integral role of technology- e-health, m-health, cloud, internet of things, variables in the health delivery. It also visualizes the national digital health authority to regulate, develop and deploy digital health across the continuum of care. Policy advocates the extensive deployment of digital tools for improving the efficiency and outcome of the healthcare system. We are also aiming at an integrated health information system that serve the needs of all stakeholders in terms of efficiency, transparency, and citizen experience. The goal is to deliver better outcomes regarding access, quality, affordability, lowering of disease burden, and efficient monitoring of health attachments to citizens.”
Releasing the homecare report and addressing the attendees, Dr. VK Paul, Hon’ble Member (Health), NITI Aayog appreciated the timely launch of the report and the efforts to redefine the care continuum. He further said, “Homecare became a norm in the wake of covid 19 pandemic, especially during second wave and thereby opening up the vast possibility of providing similar kind of safe care continuum supported by health professionals in other priority illnesses and health conditions. NITI Aayog looks forward to working closely with the industry on strengthening homecare as well as senior care in partnership with state government and stakeholders as this is a necessity for the nation currently.”
Speaking at the summit, Shri Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said, “A well-managed and organized health system with access to adequate resources both in terms of financial and human is considered to be resilient. The essence of a resilient health response is absorption, adaptation, and transformation wherever necessary. India entered the paradigm shift in terms of ramping up required healthcare infrastructure much before the pandemic in the year 2018 with the Ayushman Bharat initiative by Government of India. Ayushman Bharat currently rests on four pillars – Health and Wellness Centres, Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission and Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri health infrastructure mission. Through Ayushman Bharat, the aim is to ensure last mile delivery of quality healthcare and for this to realise, participation of the private healthcare sector and healthcare start-ups is crucial.”
Expressing her pleasure to be a part of NATHEALTH’s 8th Annual Summit, Smt. S Aparna, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals welcomed the deliberations on the summit theme of building a resilient healthcare ecosystem in India. She further said, “The efforts made by government, industry, and the civil society to fight the challenges posed by Covid-19 with determination and very typical Indian low-cost innovation was commendable. The whole of Government approach and the mission adopted for ramping up production of mask, diagnostic and PPE kits, medical devices while strengthening the healthcare infrastructure in an unprecedented manner across the country has certainly given confidence to our citizens. Furthermore, the enormous collaborative efforts both from the public and the private sector to successfully run the world’s largest adult vaccination drive that has currently resulted in inoculating 180 crore people has been instrumental in preventing the loss of lives. The state governments have been extremely supportive in allocating the required medicines to their own population. The role of pharma sector has been exemplary in terms of mitigating the pandemic.”
Dr. Harsh Mahajan, President – NATHEALTH & Founder and Chief Radiologist, Mahajan Imaging shed light on the need to discuss learnings from the pandemic, learn and adapt from global best practices from everyone in the healthcare ecosystem from start-ups to philanthropic organisations, create new operating mechanisms, harness knowledge and technology for best possible solutions. He further said, “Despite several limitations, India has achieved new strides in its fight against Covid-19 through collaboration on patient recoveries, testing numbers, vaccine outreach, leveraging the potential of digital health, building capacity in diagnostics, relooking health insurance norms, harnessing the strengths of medical technology, comprehensive policies for senior care, home care and mental health. All of this has contributed to India’s efforts towards re-building, re-structuring, and re-imagining a resilient healthcare system for the post-COVID era.”
Dr. Shravan Subramanyam, SVP – NATHEALTH & President and CEO, GE Healthcare India & South Asia and Managing Director, Wipro GE Healthcare, said, “Innovative technology, digital analytics and supply chain integration are the keyways to maximize outcomes and make processes agile and efficient paving way for the next wave of transformation in the end-to-end healthcare delivery. Amid the acute resource shortage as seen during the pandemic, digital collaboration on patient recoveries, testing numbers, vaccine outreach and procurement of crucial supplies highlight the need for out-of-the-box supply chain models. These are crucial for leveraging the potential of digital health, telemedicine and home care while harnessing the contribution of medical technology and pharmaceutical sector. Re-imagining healthcare in hospitals, diagnostics, and outside hospital care continuum particularly, home care using digital, and supply chain innovation in B2B domain for providers and medical suppliers is the need of the hour.”
The summit was aligned with the NATHEALTH 3.0 agenda to shape India health system by owning and influencing strategic healthcare agenda and being at epicentre of health ecosystem with the focus on Infrastructure Expansion, Digital Health, Healthcare Innovation, Globalizing India’s healthcare, and Arogya Bharat (health system evolution).