The government of UP is all set to roll out a state health policy. The fine prints have been worked out and it will be in the Cabinet in the next few days, said Sidharth Nath Singh, Health Minister in the government of Uttar Pradesh.
Once approved, UP will be the second state after Karnataka to have its own health policy, which will address problems pertaining to the imbalances existing in the healthcare sector at a primary and secondary level. “For instance, we don’t need qualified MBBS doctors to give primary clinical care. This also can be given by para-medical or nursing staff. So what we need here is skilling. Once that is done, a small part of the problem will be taken care of,” said the minister at Ayushman Bharat Healthcare Summit jointly organised by BW Businessworld and India Virtual Hospital.
The state health policy is also bringing in place a ‘referral policy’ wherein a doctor will have to offer an explanation for referring a patient to another medical practitioner. Besides, UP is also looking to set up trauma centres and push the concept of telemedicine significantly.
“Currently there is a paucity of doctors. We want to address that. We want to increase the number of doctors, nurses, para-medical staff,” said the Nath. “Tele-medicine is the other area that has huge scope. Through that, we will be able to reach the remote corners of the state. Currently, in UP, there is a dearth of about 18,000 staff nurses.
According to a report jointly published by KPMG and Ficci in 2016, the doctor-patient ratio in India stands at a dismal 1:1,700 and out of pocket expenditure as high as 62 per cent of total healthcare spending.
When asked about the National Health Protection Scheme, Nath said the state will perhaps be able to roll it out before the scheduled October launch. “Dream of any state government of health minister is to make healthcare affordable to the masses. This can be done through Ayushman Bharat once all stakeholders come together.