Bhubaneswar Kalita, Chairperson, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday said that there should also be a focus on improving women’s health for larger interest of families, communities and nation in order to reduce the burden on public healthcare infrastructure and spending.
During his inaugural session at the first edition of the Awareness Summit on ‘Illness to Wellness’ in New Delhi, Kalita emphasised on making healthcare affordable, accessible and available to all can help us attain the Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring healthy life and promoting well-being for all age groups.
“Making healthcare affordable, accessible and available to all can help us attain the Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring healthy life and promoting well-being for all age groups. Our main challenge is the lack of a diversified and qualified workforce and we must work towards improving the status quo as workforce is the soul of our healthcare system. There should also be a focus on improving women’s health for larger interest of families, communities and nation in order to reduce the burden on public healthcare infrastructure and spending,” Kalita said on Wednesday.
ASSOCHAM Foundation for CSR, under the aegis of Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), one of the apex trade associations of India, today kick-started the first edition of the Awareness Summit in New Delhi. The key objective of the two-day summit is to initiate a dialogue on promoting and building a ‘New India–Healthy India’.
The first session on day one of the summit saw a panel of distinguished experts discuss the possible ways to strengthen the healthcare workforce with the objective to ease the healthcare burden of the country.
“India is at the cusp of an exciting and transformative time as it aims to reach $26 trillion in economic prosperity in its Amrit Kaal. I strongly believe that when the workforce is healthy and capable, our nation can achieve its full potential across all domains. The Government of India has also accorded topmost priority to it, making it a fundamental pillar for a ‘Swastha and Samruddha Rashtra’. It is my firm conviction that India’s determined strides in the economic sphere can gain even greater momentum if the health of its citizenry remain sound. This will ensure that the wealth follows and our dream of a healthy and wealthy nation can become a reality,” Anil Rajput, Chairperson, ASSOCHAM National CSR Council, said while sharing his thoughts during the inaugural session.
The experts also discussed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the healthcare system of the country.
“The preparedness of our health infrastructure got exposed during the Covid pandemic. Despite having 95000 ICU beds and 48000 ventilators, which seems like a reasonable number, India suffered greatly during the pandemic. Although ramping up the infrastructure is important, outcomes will not improve if adequate attention is not paid to enhancing the quality of health workforce, especially the staff nurses. Healthcare workers also matter if we wish to improve the outcome. The Indian healthcare system has improved a lot but more needs to be done for the workforce,” Dr. G. C. Khilnani, Chairman, PSRI Institute of Pulmonary, Critical and Sleep Medicine and Former Professor & Head, Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi, said during his session.
The session was also joined by (Padma Bhushan) Dr. S. K. Sarin, Senior Professor, Department of Hepatology & Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi virtually. Dr. Sarin pointed out on the how liver health is neglected and fatty liver is one of the major cause of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
“Creating a healthier generation is not doctors’ effort alone; it is a team effort. Instead of following a pyramid structure, we should adopt a bottom-up approach, starting from villages. We should utilize ASHA workers to better document and understand the healthcare needs of our citizens,” he said.
Meanwhile, (Padma Bhushan) Dr. T. S. Kler, Chairman, Fortis Heart and Vascular Institute, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram & Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj claimed that the healthcare burden of the country can be reduced by allowing euthanasia.
“I am deeply concerned about the shortage of trained nurses in the country. Policies should be in place to ensure decent pay packages and respect for these crucial healthcare workers. Besides this, it is also important to reduce the healthcare burden of the country by allowing euthanasia. Introducing policies related to mandatory insurance, minimum health curriculum in schools and decreasing reservation should also be considered,” Dr. Kler said during the session.
The inaugural edition of the ASSOCHAM Awareness Summit has a goal to promote widespread knowledge about various health-related concerns for the betterment of everyone’s well-being. The two-day summit will feature more than 60 distinguished physicians, specialists, and wellness professionals from both India and abroad, who will share their insights on various topics across nine sessions.
These sessions delved into a range of areas, including healthcare workforce strengthening, nutrition, women’s health, mental health, sickle cell diseases, Ayush, elderly care and the digital healthcare landscape.