NATHEALTH expresses anguish at receding govt attention on healthcare

ANI | Updated: Jan 23, 2018 20:11 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 23 (ANI): Supporting the government's measures and reforms for the healthcare sector, Healthcare Federation of India - NATHEALTH has expressed anguish at the receding attention by stakeholders on healthcare-centric initiatives.

The Federation said that receding attention on the government's initiative is not good for the health of the nation as large investments in Indian Healthcare is now on hold.

Further, the Venture Capitalists (VCs) and funding agencies seem to have adopted a policy of 'Wait and Watch' for any further action.

According to NATHEALTH, the healthcare sector needs to reinvent itself to meet the growing demand for affordable and quality healthcare service.

In 2017, the government announced the much-awaited 'National Health Policy' which aims to promote quality of care, with a focus on emerging diseases and investment in promotive and preventive healthcare.

The policy also envisages private sector collaboration-financial and non-financial incentives to encourage participation.

"National Health Policy, with focus on primary, pro-motive and preventive healthcare, is preceded by several broader initiatives and reforms by the government. Initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India, Skill India and Startup India have tremendous potential to transform the healthcare sector. Year 2018 will be very critical and we can only empower the sector by paying adequate attention on effective implementation of the policy and other initiatives," said president, NATHEALTH, Dr Arvind Lal.

"All stakeholders including government need to work in collaborative spirit to push forward the initiatives and reforms and to accelerate the growth of the sector to meet the challenges on quality, accessibility and affordability fronts," he added.

According to NATHEALTH, the government wants stronger partnership with private sector in order to achieve the goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and current spending in the sector is a major concern.

Private sector can play a critical role in ensuring adequate spending in the Indian healthcare ecosystem which is already facing severe resource crunch.

"The government's initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India, make it easy to do business in India can be major growth drivers for the healthcare sector. However, there is an urgent need to reinforce the focus on these initiatives to leverage the benefits for the health of the nation," said secretary general NATHEALTH, Anjan Bose.

"To further improve public health and regain the investors' sentiments, so essential for the progress of Indian Healthcare, the government needs to accelerate implementation of the National Health Policy. We, at NATHEALTH, believe that in 2018 all stakeholders should come together to collaboratively address the challenges of the sector which is passing through a very complex phase," he added.

According to NATHEALTH, Indian healthcare faces the unique challenge of addressing both communicable and non-communicable/lifestyle diseases.

It is promising to note that the government has recognised these challenges and several initiatives, undertaken so far, aim at addressing those pain points.

Public sector spending in healthcare is currently around 1.4 percent of GDP and rest 3.3 percent comes from the private sector. (ANI)