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Health investors want red tape cut

Eager to set up shop in one of the most populous state of the country, leading players of the healthcare sector on Saturday said, they would not clamour for subsidy or land, if the government was willing to provide road and electricity, streamline rules and regulations, ensure timely issuance of licenses, cut red tape and removed the role of go-betweens.

patna Updated: Sep 02, 2012 15:05 IST
Anil Kumar

Eager to set up shop in one of the most populous state of the country, leading players of the healthcare sector on Saturday said, they would not clamour for subsidy or land, if the government was willing to provide road and electricity, streamline rules and regulations, ensure timely issuance of licenses, cut red tape and removed the role of go-betweens.

Setting the agenda for private investment in the healthcare sector, Dr Sabahat S Azim, CEO, Gocal Hospitals, said, gDespite the misgivings, I am very bullish on Bihar. It is very much on our radar for future expansions. We would like to set up cost effective healthcare facilities in the state, besides UP, Haryana and Punjab.

Azim, a former bureaucrat, said that the government should not be excessively concerned about regulations to esnure quality.

"Instead of allowing regulations to precede private sector presence, it should lay down the parameters for creating an oversupply. Oversupply can by itself ensure quality," he said adding, Government should create a level playing field for the private sector, which can then work out the ways and means to survive.

Speaking at the technical session on Prospects of PPP in Healthcare: Focus Bihar, chaired by Dr AA Hai, Rajiv Gulati, president, global pharmaceutical business, Ranbaxy Laboratories, said, "If the government is willing to source quality generic drugs only, the company can mull over a plan to set up a generic drug manufacturing unit in the state."

Richa S Debgupta of Fortis Hospital said, the group would like to come to Bihar if issues like basic civil infrastructure, convenience and conformity to regulations and non-interference in day to day activity is a given.

Parag Varshney of GE Healthcare said, that PPP strategy could be devised to ensure affordable healthcare. "As a group, we will like to set up more centers, other than in radiology and oncology and even establish presence in smaller towns."

Maintaining, that PPP was the way to go forward, Debopam Raha, associate director, PWC, said that there were several challenges like bureaucratic hassles and red tape, delays in payments, lack of qualified manpower, fear regarding affordability. "If the government streamlined these to ensure faster clearances, create robust payment module, increase flow of trained and qualified manpower, things will look up immediately," he said.

Earlier, Sanjay Kumar, secretary, health, said the government aimed to bring the out of pocket expense in accessing public health facility down to zero. Billy Stewart of DFID, SP Sinha, chairman, CII, Bihar State Council, Rupali Basu and Pramod Sharma also spoke on the occasion.