India has made significant strides in healthcare over the last few decades, with key indicators of health outcomes showing marked improvement. Various government initiatives have mobilized communities on health, and large scale health financing initiatives have enabled access to the private sector for all sections of the population. However, India’s out of pocket expenditure (OOP) constitutes more than 60% of all health expenses which is a major drawback in a country like India where a large segment of the population is economically backward.
To bring clarity on the matter, Goa Institute of Management (GIM) organized a conference on the theme – Accelerating and Sustaining Investments for Financing India’s Healthcare Needs – where thought leaders representing Government, Industry and Academia deliberated on the opportunities and challenges.
Speaking at the event said the Chief Guest Shri Vishwajit P. Rane, Hon’ble Minister of Health, Government of Goa, “Goa has been the first in many healthcare initiatives and is successfully implementing the DDSSY programme. There are challenges but there have also been learnings. And I welcome suggestions and learnings where we can improve. I request GIM to suggest solutions to us from time to time and be a knowledge partner to the Health Department. We look towards GIM to offer us researched suggestions, solutions and guidance”
He added, “NITI Ayog has offered a good framework to work within for state governments. Collaborations between the public and private entities can assist a great deal. Private medical colleges can collaborate with district hospitals which will be excellent. We are also looking towards the possibility of creating efficient home care for the elderly where a community workforce can be trained to offer care and support to the elderly at the local panchayat level. The elderly are often neglected and it is our responsibility to take care of them”.
Mr. Alok Kumar, Advisor, NITI Ayog, Government of India said, “Healthcare is not a T20 match. The solutions may take some time. There are drastic differences in the health systems across states within our country. We have a highly fragmented healthcare system. Therefore, for us to believe that an identical approach will work across the country is an ambitious thought. State governments need to be more proactive in finding solutions to healthcare needs prevalent in the state and cannot expect the strategy to be outsourced to the centre. Secondly, we need to elevate the approach from being schematic to be systemic. There needs to be a certain elevation from being mere schemes to creating effective systems. Thirdly the roles within the health ministry ecosystem need to be clearly defined”