Public-private partnership: Pathway to health for all - Hindustan Times

Public-private partnership: Pathway to health for all

May 20, 2024 11:56 AM IST

This article is authored by Kirit Premjibhai Solanki, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha.

The goal of universal health coverage (UHC) is one of the most significant commitments to equitable quality health care for all. India moved a step closer towards this in 2018 with the announcement of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, which has today enabled millions of beneficiary families to avail cashless treatment. But there are, in particular, significant challenges in the health care value chain, including gaps in the health care infrastructure, a divergence between rural and urban geographies, shortage of talent, to name a few. For India to take a winning leap, innovative partnerships and new investments are required across the health care value chain. Also, to fulfill Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Health for All and Janbhagidari, a renewed partnership needs to blossom between public and private sectors to create a roadmap towards achieving UHC.

Health care(HT file photo)
Health care(HT file photo)

A true partnership, where the professionalism, patience and perseverance of private sector can positively impact the health of the Indian population across a new private-public partnership (PPP) nomenclature--the poor, paediatric and pregnant women alike. A collaboration that cuts out of pocket expenses by 90% and brings quality health care to the last mile, similar to the telecom sector which has changed the lives of nearly a billion people across tier 2-3 geographies.

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What are the leadership opportunities for private sector and what will this new partnership herald?

· Technology and innovation towards better value in health care-- an area where private sector must lead the way, demonstrating new models of care delivery around population health management using smart devices and state of the art medicines/vaccines. We must push the care frontier beyond hospitals to primary care, integrated health, and affordable chronic disease management through digital health.

· Towards healthier outcomes--healthy India, safe care, lives saved, skilled workforce, and clinical research that promotes India as a holistic health care destination.

· Increase investment, create jobs, new infra, multiply economic growth and move from standalone health incidents to total value proposition as a solution provider within a certain population.

· A positive industry brand that appeals to health care seekers from all around the world built on the foundation of transparency, ethics, trust and high-quality efficient patient care par global standards of excellence.

The role of government needs to be paramount and complementary in order to harness private sector strengths:

· Demonstrate real demand, make strong commitments to pay for those who cannot afford healthcare towards universal health care.

· Bring in regulatory clarity--encourage innovations, reduce complexity, and reward effective self-regulations, accredited entities and those with established track record.

· Revolutionalise medical education.

· Embrace care continuum.

· Digital public good--Enable leapfrogging with technology and digital solutions.

· Enable private enterprise by creating a fair and transparent playing field for all.

Health care in India has progressed remarkably in the last 75 years since Independence, with more than doubled life expectancy from 32 years

in 1947 to 70 years. The country is a top draw for medical tourism, with many patients getting quality, affordable health care in India. We have successfully eradicated widespread infectious diseases such as polio, smallpox, and made significant headway in coming up with advanced treatments for cancer, cardiac diseases, and pulmonary diseases, among others. The country is ready to bring in the next big revolution in healthcare through programmes focused on access, affordability and aspirations of patients.

Health care needs seasoned talent across public and private sector with the expertise to bring these two silos together, where they collaborate and not compete. The convergence of these two disciplines with a common long-term purpose will create a multiplier effect towards a Viksit Bharat. It is critical to leverage and empower the private healthcare sector, which has three key capabilities--technology, skilled manpower and customer marketing capability. These can make India become a sterling example, a best case study for universities around the world. This alliance has the potential to rewrite the health care paradigm, once and for all, with exceptional global scope and impact.

This article is authored by Kirit Premjibhai Solanki, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha.

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