The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that we need an affordable health care revenue model to meet the challenges of modern day lifestyle. He was addressing the 11th Global Health Care Summit – 2017, organised by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), in Kolakata on 30th December 2017. The Governor of West Bengal, Keshri Nath Tripathi, the Minister for Urban Development, West Bengal, Firhad Hakim and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Vice president said that while India is progressing economically and incomes of people are improving, the common man is unable to meet the medical bill whenever there is a medical emergency in the family. With penetration of health insurance remaining quite low and majority of the Indian population preferring to seek medical treatment from private sector in health emergencies by spending from their own pockets, this problem gets compounded, he added.
The Vice President called on the medical fraternity to put in efforts to bring down the costs of medical devices to make healthcare affordable. He further said that youngsters are increasingly falling prey to ailments due to a variety of factors, including sedentary lifestyle, improper dietary habits and job-related stresses.
The Vice President said that one of the major challenges facing India is the growing incidence of diabetes in the general population and this trend needs to be arrested. He quoted a study saying diabetes was becoming common among lower socio-economic groups living in urban regions of more developed States and this is a matter of concern. According to International Diabetes Federation, 415 million people have diabetes in the world and there were 69. 1 million cases in India as per 2015 data.
Another study has noted how India’s burden of diseases has shifted from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases as incomes rose over the last 26 years. More deaths (61.8 per cent) were caused by non-communicable diseases such as cardio-vascular diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 2016 as against 53.6 per cent deaths due to communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutritional diseases in 1990.
Reducing IMRs, MMRs, improving maternal health, combating the problem of anaemia among Indian women and improving sanitation are some of the major health issues that need to be addressed on a war footing. Apart from conducting CMEs, seminars and workshops, AAPI must consider collaborating with various governments and other private organisations in establishing a state-of-the-art healthcare facility in each district of the country where affordable treatment is dispensed, opined VP.