Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare interacted with the National Council of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) through Video Conference, here today.
Congratulating CII for organising and bringing together diverse platforms that have enabled the Government of India to be in constant dialogue and deliberation on the Pandemic for the welfare of one of the largest populations in the world, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “The Indian healthcare Industry is one of India’s largest sector in terms of revenue and provision of employment, and with its market projected to increase three-fold to Rs. 8.6 trillion by 2022, it is necessary that steps be taken that will allow stakeholders to converge within the industry.The need to provide healthcare, which is accessible and affordable, now more than ever, becomes a necessity especially due to the effects that COVID has had on our entire system.”
Highlighting the government’s efforts in launching Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY)under Ayushman Bharat as a step in the right direction to ensure that affordable healthcare reaches the masses, he said, “The Indian healthcare scenario presents a spectrum of contrasting landscapes with the inequality existing within the urban-rural setting. This gap needs to be bridged and the Government under Sh. Narendra Modi ji is determined to bridge it. Ayushman Bharat with PMJAY and the HWC network for screening of NCDs and Cancer is a significantstep in that direction.”In this regard, he also noted, “Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) is the way forward as they help improve efficiency and innovation, increase effectiveness, help reduce urban-rural disparity, increase accessibility and reduce our Out Of Pocket Health Expenditure.”
Speaking on the spectacular achievements of the Health Ministry in utilizing Information Technology in not only fighting COVID but also providing Non-COVID essential Healthcare in the country, the Minister said, “We need to maximise the potential that technology has provided us and leverage this in our fight towards healthcare for all. Telemedicine has come to the fore and has provided us with a solution for last-mile connectivity. Today the eSanjeevani teleconsultation service has completed 8 lakh teleconsultations.”
Borrowing from his own experience in his campaign against Polio, he reminded everyone that private organizations like CII, Delhi Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club had come forward to bear the expenses and made it a huge success. He further observed, “We need to move towards helping organizations and industries understand the true importance of a robust healthcare ecosystem. This is to be done while ensuring a close oversight of both organic growth initiatives and other non-traditional healthcare models.”
Dr. Harsh Vardhan also highlighted India’s tryst with COVID as an evidence of co-operation between the Public and Private sectors. “Our nation has now become one of the largest manufacturers of Personal Protective Equipment kits. We used to send samples to CDC Atlanta for testing a few years back while we now have private testing labs contributing to the total testing capacity of the country.” He also expressed his admiration for the COVID Warriors, especially their mothers who did not desist their children from performing their duty knowing the health risk posed in carrying them out.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan assured the audience that the COVID Vaccine will be available on time. In this regard, he mentioned that Government had already ramped up its immunization capability with an elaborate cold storage chain for immunizing children from 12 diseases under Mission Indradhanush. “The entire eVIN platform is being repurposed as COVIN Network. All movement of stock can be digitally tracked and those receiving vaccines can also be traced after two to three weeks if the vaccine requires two shots. This will ensure last mile Vaccine delivery,” he said.