Niti Aayog underlined the importance of enhancing private sector involvement in public health surveillance.
More private companies in India can be included for effective health surveillance in the coming years. In a white paper published on Vision 2035, Niti Aayog showed the importance of enhancing private sector involvement in public health surveillance. It said that private companies can be engaged through a collaborative and mutually beneficial framework. Finally, it would be important to task and fund institutions to ensure continuous quality improvement, it further said. Niti Aayog’s intention of increasing private sector participation comes amid the minimal participation of such companies in disease surveillance at present.
While Niti Aayog is optimistic about increasing the role of private companies in health surveillance, it also listed out a set of questions that need to be answered before making the move. For which disease conditions could the private sector be involved in surveillance? At what levels of care could the private sector be involved? How does one ensure the consistency and quality of a private-sector site in surveillance? Under what circumstances and for which diseases could data from private sector insurance be utilised for surveillance purposes? These are the vital questions for which Niti Aayog might want to find the answers.
Though the coronavirus pandemic has hit almost all corners of society, it has shown the current status of India’s public health. While it is expected that the governmnet may factor-in the special additional budget for coronavirus to overcome the disruptions caused by the pandemic, the need for a relook into India’s healthcare sector is also realised. India ranks 145 out of 195 countries in Healthcare Access and Quality Index, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had said in a reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
Meanwhile, the private sector includes unregistered practitioners, standalone clinics, pharmacies and laboratories, smaller nursing homes, medium to large hospitals, medical colleges, corporate institutions, and apex institutions. Additionally, there is also an entire segment of not-for-profit institutions that are run by different mission hospitals and trusts that are also included within the private sector.