People interest: 0
Over the last few decades, India has witnessed significant improvements in terms of health indices be it life expectancy, infant mortality rate (IMR), maternal mortality rate (MMR) or many others. India has emerged as a forerunner in quality care across the world.
To improve the healthcare parameters, the government has taken various impressive measures such as Universal Immunization Programme, enhancing access to medicines, increasing insurance coverage or improving alternative therapy for better access to masses. With the increase in the number of public and private hospitals, there has been increase in penetration of healthcare services across the country.
Despite the improving situation, the Indian healthcare industry is confronted with the challenges of skewed accessibility to healthcare facilities along with the issue of affordability and availability. The public contributions towards the healthcare expenditure still remains low accounting for nearly 30 per cent of the total spending, whereas the private sector constitutes about 70 per cent of the overall health expenditure. This creates a significant gap in healthcare funding, leading to an increase in monetary burden on those individuals who have no social coverage from the government.
Concurrently, India is witnessing a paradigm shift toward the growing pressure of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases and an increasing percentage of the elderly population aged 65 and over. On one hand the demand for healthcare services have been progressively increasing and would further increase; while on the flip side, the out-of-pocket expenses are adding significant burden to healthcare affordability and accessibility. With all these shortcomings, ‘Universal Healthcare’ in India seems a distant dream for the country.
At this juncture, the need of the hour is to scale up the public health services, increase the number of trained health professionals and augment public healthcare spending to determine adequate healthcare financing. While the Indian healthcare industry is at crossroads today; the need for the universal health coverage has become imperative to counter the challenges of availability, affordability, and accessibility of healthcare services. India would not only require robust healthcare policies, but also a strong universal healthcare plan implemented through public as well as private sectors.
The CII Conclave on ‘NextGen Healthcare 2016’ being organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has come at a time when there is an urgent need for the deeper assessment of the accessibility and affordability of healthcare services in India.
This conference is conceptualized to initiate a meaningful discussion and to analyse the reality of the long-chased dream of ‘Healthcare for all’. A day-long conference with four different session aims to offer the participants with insights on how various prospectives of — alternate delivery models, PPPs, innovation and technology could be combined together to make ‘Universal Healthcare’ a near reality. The upcoming conference is expected to probe into the existing issues of accessibility and affordability of healthcare, and provide best possible solutions for the coming future.