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BW Businessworld

Top Industry Players Attend BW Healthcare Summit In Delhi

Experts say India needs more financial investments and professional expertise to expand healthcare facilities across the country

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The BW Businessworld Healthcare Summit opened in New Delhi on Friday with the participation of top names from the country's healthcare industry.

The 3rd Edition of India Healthcare Summit focuses on industry challenges and investment opportunities.

Talking about the road ahead for the healthcare sector, participants argued that India needs more financial investments and professional expertise to expand healthcare facilities across the country, including remote areas.

"We need citizens to be healthy, but the problem is we don't have any (easy) solution for some of the most common diseases like diabetes and malaria," said Prof M.C. Mishra, Director of AIIMS.

He said healthcare in India needs major transformation and called for adopting universal health coverage.

"Unless the programme is fully implemented, we can't move on," Mishra said.

Countries like Cuba, Argentina and Brazil have implemented universal health plans but in India it remains a distant dream.

Dr Dharminder Nagar, managing director and CEO of Paras Healthcare, told the summit, "There is an acute shortage of doctors and nurses. We need a radical surgery to improve their availability. MCI (the Medical Council of India) needs to do something."

Wages for nurses in India should be at par with their counterparts in developed countries, Nagar said.

On financing healthcare in smaller towns, Rakesh Goyal, director of investment banking at Yes Bank, said: "It becomes difficult for the stakeholders to contain costs in smaller towns given the kind of infrastructure they have."

Nagar of Paras Healthcare said easy loans should be provided for healthcare projects "because we serve society".

He said banks should understand that profits are difficult to generate for a healthcare project in initial years.

India's healthcare sector is expected to be $280 billion in size by 2020. It is growing at a CAGR of 16 per cent but needs right policy framework and infrastructure push.

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