In order to ensure accessibility to health services to the residents of semi-rural areas, Union Health Minister J P Nadda today pitched for private hospitals to set up their centre there and at the same time making the services affordable. Such an arrangement would help in plugging the health gaps in the country to a great extent and to envision that universal healthcare remain as a reality and not a mirage, he said at the 13th India Health Summit 2016, organised by CII here.
“I urge the private institutions to establish their outfits in semi-rural areas to ensure accessibility to people there and also make the cost of treatment affordable.”At the same time, it should also be an economically viable proposition for the hospitals to function from such centres,” the Minister said.
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Nadda said the National Health Protection Scheme would bring 6-7 crore more family within the ambit of health insurance which will translate into coverage of 40 crore people which, he said, was a substantial improvement as compared to the previous schemes.
He sought the help of private sector in expanding the coverage of the scheme and assured that the government will continue to be an enabler and facilitator in achieving larger involvement of the private sector in the health schemes. Referring to the gaps in the domain of drugs and diagnostics, the Minister said the country should also become a user of generic drugs and instead of importing medical equipments in large quantity, India should start manufacturing them locally.
Nadda noted that it is not only the spending resources for healthcare but also utilisation is a major problem.
“Some of the states have crores of money unspent and not furnishing any certification of utilisation. In a federal structure there is limitations on the part of the Centre.”While some states are proactive in spending and creating health infrastructure, some states are laggards,” he said.
The Minister stressed that there are well defined terms of reference for achieving universal healthcare.
“What we need is freezing these terms of reference and focus on implementation. A pragmatic approach has to be taken for funding and capacity building to achieve the goals in a given time frame. That only can help in making our goals real as distinct from a mirage,” Nadda added.