- By Dr (Prof) Deepak Agrawal
Union Price range 2021-22 Expectations for Healthtech: With international locations nonetheless preventing one in all mankind’s greatest well being disaster, gaps within the healthcare infrastructures in even among the most developed economies has raised alarms the world over. India, which was struggling to satisfy the healthcare necessities on account of lack of entry to even primary healthcare services like ICUs, ventilators, and different important medical equipment-even earlier than the pandemic, needed to wrestle to remain afloat by implementing one of the stringent lockdowns anyplace on the earth! The query is do now we have to attend for a pandemic to hit us to make outstanding transformations on this area for higher supply of healthcare after which align our assets/finances on this path?
On a constructive word, this pandemic has been a wake-up name for the healthcare sector in India, the place the authorities got here nose to nose with points plaguing the medical know-how trade. The important thing answer to addressing this hole in accessibility and affordability of healthcare is making homegrown technology-driven improvements that facilitate manufacturing and supply of medical units inside the nation, offered the policymakers use this chance to align the assets/budgets to make sure accessible, equitable, and high quality healthcare for the residents of India. This lacuna must be addressed within the finances this yr with a selected allocation of the finances for healthcare supply, healthcare personnel, infrastructural developments, and a particular concentrate on improvements in healthcare by supporting startups on this area. It’s evident that this pandemic has fast-tracked the necessity and adoption of technology-driven options in healthcare and this development is right here to remain. Healthcare suppliers have embraced know-how with digital consultations, robot-assisted procedures, wearables (AI in medical tools), and lots of extra improvements that assist clean supply of healthcare.
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Final yr the finance minister had allotted a paltry Rs 69,000 crore (1.29 per cent of GDP), inclusive of Rs 6,400 crore for Jan Arogya Yojana, to the healthcare finances. Whereas this was greater than what was allotted to well being the yr earlier than, it stays minuscule in a rustic aspiring to be generally known as a developed nation. The important thing answer is government-backed technology-driven improvements that facilitate the manufacturing and supply of heath-tech inside the nation. The pandemic has made us realise the significance of telemedicine, distant monitoring of NCDs, indigenous medical tools, and the necessity for ‘surge capability’ in healthcare. There’s an expectation that the Finance Minister will lastly discuss in regards to the elephant within the room on this yr’s finances with particular allocation for healthcare supply and improvements with a long-term imaginative and prescient for healthcare in India.
Some key concerns for this yr’s finances ought to be:
- Institution of centrally funded hospital cum medical school in every of the 739 districts of India. This has the potential to seriously change the healthcare panorama of India and guarantee high quality cost-effective healthcare to the residents.
- Nation-wide unified EMR (digital medical data) system with illness registries and healthcare employee databases for optimised useful resource allocation. This wants a monetary ‘Carrot & stick’ coverage for nationwide implementation.
- Establishing and funding a Nationwide Healthcare Audit Authority (NHAA) which audits the functioning and high quality of care of all healthcare establishments within the nation utilizing goal KPI’s with minimal high quality requirements set for the care given at each step, primarily based on the healthcare services (main, secondary or tertiary).
- 5-year plan in PPP funding mannequin for creating excessive price imported medical tools like MRI machine, CT scanner, Ultrasound machines, Ventilators, Dialysis machines, and many others., with a transparent roadmap that inside 10 years all medical tools ought to be ‘made in India’ and each vital healthtech ought to be indigenised.
- Develop the PMJAY to incorporate all taxpayers. It’s the minimal the federal government ought to do, contemplating that the world’s largest well being scheme is funded by taxpayers’ cash however excludes them.
Well being is wealth. I sincerely hope that these ideas are translated into precise coverage selections for enhancing the well being and wealth of India.
Dr (Prof) Deepak Agrawal is a Senior Professor on the Division of Neurosurgery, Neurosciences & Gamma Knife Centre, AIIMS, New Delhi. Views expressed are the creator’s personal.
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