A Ten Point Agenda for Indian Healthcare
1.Government spending on Healthcare in India is low, compared to countries like China, Thailand, Korea and Brazil. Currently it stands at 0.52% of the GDP and it should be increased to atleast 6%.
2.Government should give more focus on Public Health especially rural primary care, with greater decentralisation to increase effectiveness:
Reinvest heavily in public health systems-public health institutions, Management Information Systems, surveillance. Fund allocation should vary by state depending on needs and level of performance.
Concentrate efforts and introduce programmes to prevent cardiovascular diseases, mental health, injuries and more importantly HIV & AIDS.
Reduce centrally sponsored schemes and transfer resources to States.
3.Spur private investments in under-served areas.Central & State Governments should identify areas that need additional Healthcare Delivery capacity based on assessment of number of beds per ‘000, quality of existing beds, affordability levels of residents. Then incentivise the Industry:
Accord “Infrastructure Status” to Healthcare Industry with ten year tax holidays and carry forward of losses.
Provide land at subsidised rate.
Remove Customs duty on imported Medical Equipment, Consumables and disposables. This will make high –quality healthcare affordable.
4.Create public-private partnerships in terms of contract of services, private management of public facilities, compliment PHCs in delivery of care through organising regular camps by private organisations.
5.Increase availability of qualified practitioners in rural areas including nurses and paramedics. Create incentives in terms of :
Monthly incentive allowance
Tax deduction of 40% on incomes of doctors practicing in rural areas.
Mandatory rural service for doctors who qualify for PG Courses
Reservations of select PG seats for in-service rural doctors
6.Central & State Governments to create incentives to attract investments in medical colleges and nursing schools in under-served areas to check the imbalance in capacity of medical education.
7.Government should stimulate the growth of private, social and community health insurance to improve affordability.
8.Give greater autonomy to hospitals.
9.Set up more hospitals in the lines of AIIMS and upgrade existing Medical Colleges to the level of AIIMS to have an evenly spread Healthcare system across India.
10. Affordable Medicines : Government should provide cheaper and quality medicines to the needy by enlarging the scope of many schemes aimed at providing relief to lower economic groups. Essential Drugs for “below the poverty line” population should be dispensed at subsidised rates through the local Primary Healthcare Centre.