India’s low costs, skilled medical personnel and world-class hospital network serve as a driving force for medical tourism and services exports, according to panellists at a session on “Making Indian Healthcare Accessible Globally” at the 2nd edition of the Global Exhibition on Services (GES) on 21st April 2016.
Mr Arvind Mehta, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, noted that the degree of medical specialization in India is higher compared to other developed countries as Indian physicians have more exposure to patients. He added that India has enough human capacity to meet both domestic and international demand in the healthcare sector. The Indian government and the medical fraternity should pool together resources to build excellent hospitals and medical schools across the country, he suggested.
It is necessary to build technological prowess and a software interface for health insurance, felt Mr Mehta.
Dr Devi Shetty, Chairman and Founder, Narayana Health City, stressed the importance of building health cities. To provide healthcare in rural areas, he recommended the Rajasthan model of converting shipping containers into mobile ‘eHealth Centres’.
Additionally, Dr Shetty stressed the importance of providing health insurance services to the poor. He said, “The Yeshaswini Micro healthcare insurance which Narayana Health City provides to farmers at a premium rate of as low as Rs 50 per month has helped in conducting 100,000 heart surgeries till now.”
In a parallel session on ‘Health Disparities and Improving the Delivery of Healthcare in South Asia’, Mr Ramesh Kumar, Chief Operating Officer, Aster-Medicity, outlined the five pillars of clinical excellence, service excellence, preventive healthcare, accessibility to finance and quality assurance in the healthcare sector. By implementing these five pillars, India could become a global hub for medical tourism.
Mr Manish Trivedi, Chief Operating Officer, Jaypee Hospital, reiterated the necessity of accessibility, accountability and affordability as the basis of healthcare.