Bring down maternal and infant mortality rate: Dr A Ramadoss

Bring down maternal and infant mortality rate: Dr A Ramadoss

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss has urged the healthcare industry to join hands with the government to bring down maternal and infant mortality rate in the country.

He informed that under the National Rural Health Mission, the centre is working to empower the states to deal with maternal and infant mortality, nutrition, hygiene and other health related issues.

He also sought a commitment from the industry to keep the healthcare and medical treatment cost low. In this regard , he said the government will provide incentives to medical equipment makers in the country so that the cost benefit goes to the poor.

The minister also disclosed that a Clinical Establishment Act would soon be in place to ensure standardization of diagnostic centres across the country.

He said the government was open to developing a public private partnership model in various fields like setting up medical colleges, rolling out insurance schemes and promoting traditional systems of medicine. The National Emergency & Trauma Programme was a step in this direction. Under this programme, any person in need of medical help can call up a toll free number from any where in the country and get access to information.

He said six medical institutes, on the lines of the All India Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will be set up across the country, giving the healthcare industry an opportunity to contribute as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.

While there is growing consensus on the private sector working more closely with the healthcare facilities in areas of medical reserach and more importantly in making services accessible to larger groups of people in rural and semi urban India, implementation remains painfully slow.

Suneeta Reddy, executive director, finance, Apollo Hospitals Group said that the healthcare industry was keen to work with the government on a PPP model in rural and urban healthcare and focus on education to increase the manpower required by the industry. She said that there was need to increase interface between the heathcare provider and the patient/consumer.

She pointed out that in the absence of processes and accountability, there was a lack of communication among stakeholders, leading to a general mistrust among consumers about available healthcare facilities. Also corporate hospitals were at the receiving end of a lot of flak with medical litigation and other criticism.

The minister who was addressing the CII conclave on Healthcare Engagement: Strategies & Partnerships said that it was time to hear the voice of the consumer in the ‘two India’s’ that existed - one that can afford world class healthcare and the other that cannot afford even primary healthcare.

It was time for healthcare to move from a transaction-based business to a more individual-based business.

With additional inputs from Taru Bahl/