Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that COVID has strengthened Public-Private Partnership model in India’s healthcare system with a win-win situation for both.
Speaking at the 2nd Public Health Summit 2021 organized by CII here, he said that this partnership between Industry and Public Health Experts can work on different models such as health care and diagnostics delivery, vaccine development, R&D, telemedicine facilities for rural areas and digital delivery of medicines. The Minister said that this partnership could be a game changer and will truly transform the health sector in India.
Referring to the world’s largest Free Vaccination Drive initiated by Prime Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh said, with the delivery of more than 32 crore doses, India is the fastest country in the world to administer vaccines. This, he said, not only makes it the world’s fastest vaccination drive but also makes it distinct because of the smooth manner in which it has proceeded despite the heterogeneous character of the country and a huge population of 135 crores.
Dwelling on the need for Telemedicine facility, Dr Jitendra Singh lamented that this aspect was not given desired attention in the country and said that now the time has come to revive it in a big way for free consultation from home particularly in rural areas. He said, guidelines already exist for empanelment of recognised doctors across India for tele-consultation of patients on a shift wise basis. He said that in his Lok Sabha Constituency of Udhampur-Kathua-Doda, tele-consultation facility has been established in the District Hospital at Kathua with all the Panchayats connected with it and it is being monitored on a regular basis.
Hailing the Ayushman Bharat Yojana as a unique and successful health insurance scheme launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in 2018, Dr. Jitendra Singh said the scheme has come at a critical juncture and COVID treatment was also included under the Yojana. He said with affordable and accessible quality health care, the AyushmanYojana is the “world’s largest government funded healthcare program” targeting more than 50 crore beneficiaries.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of the National Digital Health Mission from the Red Fort last year, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it would revolutionise the health sector in the country. He said, NDHM will be a completely technology-based initiative and every Indian would get a Health ID card that would contain all relevant information about an individual’s medical conditions. Dr Jitendra Singh said that Public Health should be driven by technology and data for effective surveillance and monitoring of diseases and for its successful management.
In his concluding remarks, Dr Jitendra Singh asked the industry bodies to work with healthcare professionals to shun panic about the 3rd wave of pandemic and rather all should focus on defeating the second wave of COVID in an effective manner. He reiterated that “Precaution, Not Panic” is the main mantra to fight this pandemic.
In his address, Dr RandeepGuleria, Director, AIIMS, Delhi called for a robust health care system in India with about 2.5 percent of GDP as health budget. He also underlined the need for close collaboration between the Centre and the States on Health issues despite Health being a state subject. Dr Guleria said for equitable access to healthcare in rural and remote areas, there is need for augmentation of specialised manpower and upgradation of health infra in the country.
Dr R.S.Sharma, CEO of National Health Authority said in his address that CoWIN portal for vaccination is unique in the world in terms of portability, scalability and inclusivity and it is a citizen-centric platform. He said, 300 million plus registrations and vaccinations with granular details of each individual are available on the portal with a very simple process of registration. Dr Sharma informed that more than 50 countries from Latin America, Africa and Asia have shown interest in our vaccination system and we will share the technology with them free of cost.