The two-day Healthcare Sabha organised by the Indian Express Group concluded today with delegates calling for frugal innovation in medical technology; to introduce skill enhancement programmes to bridge the workforce deficit; and work out a system of paying cancer and heart diseases and chronic illness treatment bills through medical financing or EMIs.
Earlier, delegates participated in a lively panel discussion on ‘Models of financing public healthcare’ in which Dr Prateek Rathi, Special Executive Office-ESI Scheme, Department of Health of Maharashtra; Kavita Singh, director NHM (Finance), Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; and K Srivastava, VP, Marketing, Natco Pharma Ltd, participated.
“It is at a nascent stage but financing of medical treatment through EMIs has started. Patients can stagger their bill payments. EMIs are available for stents, pacemakers, cancer therapy and other chronic illness. In cancer, only 20 or 30 per cent patients can afford treatment. When cost of therapy limits choice of therapy EMIs are an option,” Srivastava said.
Patients can have access to devices like stents and pacemakers by paying just 15 per cent of cost and the rest can be paid in EMIs as low as Rs 1000 per month. In a panel discussion on the role of frugal innovations in medical technology, Dr Jitendar Kumar Sharma, Direcotor, WHO Collaborating Centre for Priority Medical Devices and Head, Division of Healthcare Technology, National Health Systems Resource Centre, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Dr Pankaj Parashar, Direcotr MP Public Health Services Corporation Ltd, Mihir Shah, Founder and CEO, UE LifeSciences Inc; and Dr Yogesg Patil, COO, Biosense, spoke about their innovations.
Mihir Shah’s UE LifeSciences is developing easy-to-use tools for health workers. “Breast Cancer is disproportinately affecting all fast growing economies and developing regions around the world where helathcare resources are limited and organized mammography led screening is not possible.
Early detection would bring about the largest impact towards improving survival, quality of life and reducing the burden of breast cancer. At UE LifeSciences, we are developing innovative yet affordable and easy-to-use tools that any healthworker or doctor can operate with basic training. The NoTouch BreastScan is an FDA cleared, contact-less and radiation-free, physiological breast imaging tool. It is suitable for women of all ages. The Intelligent Breast Exam tool is an Innovative materials technology and mobile computing brought together in the form of an ultra-portable wireless breast scanner,” Mihir Shah said.
The Express Public Health Awards were also presented at the end of the two-day brain-storming sessions.