New Delhi:

Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India today urged the private sector to come forward and expand their footprint through public-private partnership and set-up modern healthcare facilities in the rural areas. "Private players have added to the capacity and capability of our healthcare system in the country. They will continue to play an important role in augmenting the infrastructure and skills in the sector. There has to be a collaborative effort from the industry and the civil society in supporting the government's initiatives," he emphasized.

Addressing the inaugural session of the three-day 'FICCI HEAL-2020' virtually, he acknowledged the role of private hospitals in rising to the occasion and battling COVID-19. He also urged the private sector to take full advantage of the Atmanirbhar Abhiyan and give a fillip to the manufacturing of various medical devices.

The Vice President added that with the expansion of the healthcare sector, the public and private hospitals, the demand for pharmaceutical products, medical devices and equipment will increase in the coming years.

A joint publication by Boston Consulting Group (BCG)  and FICCI titled “Leapfrogging to a Digital Healthcare System: Reimaging Healthcare for Every Indian” was released at the 14th FICCI HEAL.

The National Digital Health Mission has the potential to unlock ₹1.5 trillion in incremental value for India's healthcare industry in about 10 years, said the report . 

Surveys conducted by BCG across doctors and patients highlight that 85% of the clinicians used digital platforms for patient interactions during the lockdown. 50% of the clinicians found these platforms to be an effective medium for providing care.

Additionally, 60% patients across metro and tier 1 cities reported they would continue using digital platforms for primary care in the post COVID world due to the fundamental benefits of shorter waiting time and easy access to qualified doctors. In addition, as per reports, the lockdown period saw teleconsultation services being accessed by over 2000 small towns, with 80% patients being first time users.

Talking about the NDHM Indu Bhushan,CEO, National Health Authority (NHA) and Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY)  said NDHM, as announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi  aims at creating a robust public digital infrastructure that can be leveraged by all entities, public and private, to transform how health
care is delivered in India.

The secure digital health framework that NDHM will build will unlock creativity and enable innovation to solve some of the hardest problems in Indian healthcare today.Despite multiple initiatives in the recent past, the health system in India needs to be strengthened further and we need to improve access, affordability and quality of care for all citizens. In our view, building digital commons can improve health care delivery and health outcomes significantly in India.

J Satyanarayana,Chief Advisor, National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) said successful implementation of NDHM would also enable faster adoption of the emerging technologies like AI/ML and IoT to achieve a quantum jump in the quality of healthcare and ease of access. 

Anand Roy, managing director, Star Health Insurance said “The positive side of year 2020 has been identification of the huge potential in digital implementation of healthcare delivery through means like telemedicine etc. Though the open digital health ecosystem is at its nascent stage, I can foresee its capability to integrate different stakeholders to deliver better customer experience. I believe this model can be transformational because it is set to empower the public in making better decisions. From the perspective of Health Insurers, the open digital health ecosystem will aid them in providing services more efficiently with utmost transparency.”

Mayank Bathwal, CEO, Aditya Birla Health Insurance“While Health Insurance has been one of the fastest growing segments in Insurance, yet the opportunity has not yet been tapped to desired levels. With heightened awareness, increased sales numbers, and digitization, health insurance is becoming more entrenched in a consumer lifestyle than ever before.  With customers becoming more comfortable with ‘Phygital’ (Physical and Digital) ways, insurers will need to work on digitizing the whole process and ensuring better customer experience with the most significant changes being in claims journey, servicing and usage of customer data

S Sridhar, MD, Pfizer India  said providers too are shedding past inhibitions and fully embracing e-health and e-prescription platforms to maintain and enhance their connect with patients. In this new era of personalised healthcare and digital knowledge, all stakeholders in the ecosystem will need to demonstrate agility  and adaptability.

“We could well be at an inflection point from where healthcare access and penetration could take a giant leap forward in India.” he added.