As the Indian government is in the process enusring more inclusivity under its healthcare insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat with the help of Indian startups and innovators, the deputy permanent representative ambassador, K Nagaraj Naidu, in United Nations (UN) General Assembly, laid stress on the need for adopting new digital technologies, along with appropriate use of traditional medicines.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly on ‘Global Health and Foreign Policy’, Naidu also said that commercialisation of health services cannot be the only way out to improve healthcare. He laid stress on developing a strong public health system, which will, in turn, act as a guarantor for the private sector as well.
Naidu also noted that the health system can be strengthened by comprehensive changes in policies, regulations and relationships across the foundation of the health system, which will not only allow more effective use of resources but will also instill a positive change in behaviour of the service providers.
The official said that both private and public players have had their fair share of role to play in building a stronger health system. However, he noted that the world needs to be cautious of commercialisation of healthcare services.
Naidu said that affordability is the key to making healthcare more inclusive of all sections, which will also fuel it to become more holistic and stronger. He emphasised that governments across the world need to provide strategic leadership and synergies across health systems and provide clear incentives for private sector players to ensure their participation.
The Indian representative Naidu added that the governments also should come up with regulatory policies to ensure quality, accessibility and choice.
In addition, he also noted that the governments should make full use of TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) flexibilities to develop, use of generics and local manufacturing to meet public health objectives.
At the same time, governments should ensure transparency in cost and the price of medicines and other technologies, Naidu added. Moreover, he also stressed on innovative partnerships in research and development (R&D) and making use of new and emerging technologies, along with appropriate use of traditional medicines to make the system more concrete.
Naidu also noted:
- Advancing competencies of the workforce
- Improving the distribution and diversity of the scheme
- Need for clinical research and innovation
- Identifying systemic challenges
Naidu also added, “We saw the transformative potential of affordability when Indian pharmaceutical companies supplied medicines to HIV/AIDS patients in Africa for less than a dollar a day in early years of this millennium.”
In addition, Naidu also highlighted Indian healthcare schemes like National Healthcare Protection, Fit India and Eat Right, where public-private partnership helped achieve the agenda, and recommended the government to opt for a similar model as well.