Lav Agarwal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare said that healthcare innovations will bring the focus of health interventions to patient centricity, which will be the key differential for propelling the health industry to become more efficient.
Innovations in healthcare will strengthen patient safety, Agarwal said while delivering the keynote address at a panel discussion on ‘New Age Healthcare for a New India’ on Wednesday.
A report titled “Surgical Care in India- An insight of Patients’ Experience,” prepared jointly by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and the Bureau of Research on Industry and Economic Fundamentals (BRIEF), was released at the event.
“India already has a head start in terms of creating a digital health ecosystem and with launch of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), we have created a very strong foundation for holistic development of the health sector and brought to fore the role technology can play in health. Equally important is to focus on health infrastructures strengthening with private sector participation”, Shri Agarwal added.
According to the survey report, most surgical patients preferred private hospitals. “The patients’ selection of Healthcare Service Providers was more towards private hospitals (83%), followed by trust hospitals (9%) and government hospitals (8%),” the survey report found.
Other speakers at the panel were Dr. Vaibhav Kapoor, Chair, IAMAI Sub Committee on NewAge Model in Surgical Care, and Co-Founder, Pristyn Care, Dr Alexander Kuruvilla – Co-Chair, IAMAI HealthTech Committee & Chief Healthcare Strategy Officer, Practo, and Mr. Archit Garg, Co- Founder & Director, Glamyo Technologies.
“With 80% of the 20 million surgeries performed in India falling under secondary care, this survey report clearly articulates the patient expectations and gaps that currently exist. It will further help the industry develop models that democratize access to quality healthcare while ensuring a better patient experience,” Dr. Alexander Kuruvilla said in a statement.
The report is based on personal interviews with 280 patients who were under surgical treatments between 2019 to 2022 across six cities including Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, and Bengaluru. About 50 percent of the patients interviewed were private sector employees with the maximum belonging between the age groups of 21-30 and 31-40.
The survey concluded that just about 22 percent of patients were covered under health insurance. Overall satisfaction level with the healthcare services for surgery stood at 2.89 out of 5.
Moreover, the report also identified areas of patient expectations and gaps including poor assistance, lack of transparency regarding treatment costs, higher surgery costs and affordability, difficulty in identifying healthcare service providers, and non-availability of advanced surgical treatment facilities in non-metro cities.
About 38 percent of patients incurred surgery costs in the range of INR 50,000 to INR 1,00,000, followed by 29 percent of patients below INR 50,000. During the survey, on the question related to the affordability of the surgery cost, 37 percent of patients reported it as non-affordable.