Indian healthcare in need for regulatory committee to monitor facilities

ANI | Updated: Jan 25, 2018 17:00 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 25 (ANI): A week ahead of the presentation of this year's Union Budget, it has come to notice that the healthcare sector is in dire need of a regulatory committee who will monitor the functioning of the sector in India.

In the aftermath of the death of several children at a hospital in Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) due to alleged negligence, many hospitals have been under the scanner for engaging in forgery of bills, misuse of funds, and other such fraudulent activities.

The growing recognition of India's healthcare crisis, therefore, has led to urgency for increased public funding of healthcare, which, the industry believes, can be taken up in the Union Budget.

"Private healthcare manages much of the patient burden spilling from the public healthcare system. This has boosted many health insurance schemes. The fact, however, is that adequate and comprehensive coverage for a range of services and diseases remains elusive. Curative and invasive interventions, such as surgeries and in-patient care, are covered by public health insurance policies. But despite non-communicable diseases being responsible for more than 50 percent of all deaths in India, health insurance schemes seem unprepared to meet this disease burden," said Arindam Haldar, CEO, SRL Diagnostics.

In the National Health Policy of 2017, the government had insisted on the need to strategically invest in preventive healthcare measures. If this is carried on to the diagnostics segment, the industry can propagate early diagnosis of which in turn has the potential to improve productivity loss and or delay to onset / eliminate the necessity for tertiary treatment.

"There is an immediate need to build better primary healthcare centres that would help in reducing the burden on secondary and tertiary health clinics. These primary healthcare centres should drive awareness programmes to tackle early disease management and reduce the cost burden as well," added Haldar.

Furthermore, the absence of coverage for outpatient care and pre-existing diseases is now an impediment to a comprehensive and affordable health insurance cover.

To this regard, Haldar opined that the nation needs to shift its focus from curative to preventive healthcare. Accordingly, since diagnostics pave the way and determine choice of or initiate treatment, diagnostics industry could be the focal point for driving healthcare treatment options in India," he said.

On a related note, the Union Budget will be presented in Parliament on February 1. (ANI)