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Modi’s 3.0 impact on healthcare: Experts urge real-time development

June 04,2024

New Delhi : Healthcare has been a major canvassing point in the Lok Sabha election 2024. As the counting continues for the General Lok Sabha Elections, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is seeking to form a government that will give Prime Minister Narendra Modi a third term. With far fewer numbers, whether the Modi government will be able to fulfil the hefty promises made for the next five years remains to be seen.

As Indians depend heavily on private services, the National Health Policy (NHP) 2017, which promises to increase public health spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP, is long overdue. So the question remains: will affordable healthcare services for Indian citizens be just an election doldrum or will it see real-time development? Will Modi 3.0 make any difference by increasing public expenditure on healthcare to the desired level in India? Analysts and experts in the healthcare segment voice the sector’s expectations.

Speaking to ETHealthworld, Dr Girdhar Gyani, Director General, Association of Healthcare Providers (AHPI), said, “Healthcare has become an election agenda. New government will have to increase allocation to 2.5 per cent of GDP. It has to include the underprivileged population within the scope of Ayushman Bharat. It will have to incentivise the private sector to open tertiary care hospitals in tier III towns.”

Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) said, “We expect the new government to boost manufacturing of medical devices and bring in a predictable tariff regime that makes manufacturing viable without being overly protectionist and instead focuses on monitoring and regulations of labelled prices of medical devices as that’s what is charged to consuming patients and they are currently being taken for a ride with artificially inflated prices.”

“We want to encourage fair marketing based on quality and value, not on pushing products with high-profit margins. For a while now, we’ve been asking for rules that stop companies from artificially raising prices on medical device labels. This practice hurts honest manufacturers and marketing companies. Instead, we want fair competition based on the real value of the products, not inflated prices,” added Nath.

He also stated that a separate regulatory framework for medical devices will ensure patient safety and quick access to affordable innovative options while keeping manufacturers disciplined and acting responsibly.

Dr Praveen Gupta, Principal Director & Chief of Neurology, Fortis Hospital, stated that the impact of a UPA (United Progressive Alliance) or NDA (National Democratic Alliance) win in Lok Sabha polls on the healthcare market can vary based on the policies and priorities of the winning party.

“NDA manifesto promises aim to put healthcare accessibility and quality in the front seat. Firstly, by providing sanitary pads at Rs 1, there’s a focus on improving women’s healthcare. Secondly, initiatives will target the prevention and reduction of ailments like anaemia, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and osteoporosis, with a specific goal to eliminate cervical cancer,” said Dr Gupta.

“Ayushman Bharat will be expanded to cover non-EWS and SC/ST senior citizens, and regular Ayush camps will offer elders holistic healthcare rooted in traditional practices. The manifesto also promises to eradicate malnutrition among tribal children, and provide comprehensive healthcare in tribal areas, including combating sickle cell anaemia,” he added.

Dr Aashish Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Healthcare, said, “Our healthcare infrastructure has undergone significant improvements. The government’s proactive approach has brought healthcare needs to the forefront. However, this journey is far from over. As we look ahead, I expect the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to continue prioritizing healthcare for the next five years. Continued priority-healthcare must remain a central focus. We need sustained efforts to strengthen our healthcare system, enhance medical facilities, and ensure access to quality care for all citizens.”

Stressing upon Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Dr Chaudhry said, “To accelerate progress, the government should foster a conducive environment for private players. Collaborations between public and private sectors can lead to innovative solutions, increased capacity, and better outcomes. Infrastructure Boost -Investments in healthcare infrastructure—such as hospitals, clinics, and research centers—are crucial. Upgrading existing facilities and building new ones will enhance our preparedness for future health crises.”

He also added that the new government should focus on curative measures that are vital, and preventive healthcare deserves equal attention. Promoting healthy lifestyles, vaccination drives, and early disease detection can significantly improve overall well-being.

Adding to it Dr Gupta said the NDA has started several initiatives, like Ayushman Bharat, for the benefit of the people, and hopefully, the new government, either the NDA or INDIA will continue. Health has been and should be an important focus for all governments.

Source: Healthworld

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