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We Are Saving 10 Lakh Children Every Year Compared To Year 2000: Dr Vinod K Paul, NITI Aayog

Various stalwarts of the healthcare industry gathered in New Delhi to discuss the various aspects of the healthcare industry and healthcare provision, and to bring together various stakeholders and decision-makers of the Ayushman Bharat scheme

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At the Ayushman Bharat Healthcare Summit organized by BW Businessworld and India Virtual Hospital, various stalwarts of the healthcare industry gathered in New Delhi to discuss the various aspects of the healthcare industry and healthcare provision, and to bring together various stakeholders and decision-makers of the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

In his welcome note, Swadeep Srivastava, Founder and Managing Partner, India Virtual Hospital, said, "The day Ayushman Bharat scheme was announced, all the stakeholders associated with healthcare have been thinking about it, dreaming about it, and have been curious about how this ambitious healthcare program is going to roll out. Called ModiCare, it will be interesting to see how it will transform the healthcare of the industry, and not only will the stakeholders gain, but will also contribute to the various aspects of the healthcare industry. The infrastructure will benefit, the bottom of the pyramid will benefit, and the insurance coverage will increase. The prevention dynamics will change in the country. There is a lot of hope and curiosity. We thought of bringing all the stakeholders together, and we also brought the NITI Aaayog to see what they are envisaging of the plan. There will be discussions on the overall view of the scheme, technology, skilled labour, and infrastructure and so on. It is a project from the country, of the country and it will be interesting to see how it moves forward".

"This is a path-breaking initiative of the Prime Minister of India. Ayushman Bharat has two pillars, one is the health and wellness mission, and then is the national health protection mission. The first mission has been launched on the 14th of April by PM Modi. It is critical for India to reimagine primary healthcare which will focus on prevention and early detection. We are saving 10 lakh children every year compared to 2000. It was only amounting to 15% of the activities in primary healthcare. No one was detecting non-communicable diseases like diabetes and so on for poor people. Contrary to general thinking, that non-communicable diseases are diseases of the elite, it is the disease of everyone. Prevention is the key. Even mental health and eye-care is important. We needed a comprehensive plan", said Dr Vinod K Paul, Member, Niti Aayog in his keynote address.

He also added, "The government's commitment is to screen everybody at the age of 30. Comprehensive primary healthcare is where most transactions should occur and do occur. We should do so much in primary healthcare, that secondary and tertiary health coverage needs the lesser stress. 7 crore people who are not poor will become poorer because of healthcare issues. The National Health Protection Mission aims to provide a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family and is targeted to cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families through service through both public and private hospitals. There will be no bar for pre-existing illnesses and there will be cashless benefits. The initiative covers not just the BPL, but even those above it. There is no formal enrolment process required, and identity validation through Aadhar, with no denial in absence of Aadhar. There will be a transparent process to empanel and pay hospitals online, and cost control through fixing package rates in advance". "There has been a lot of awareness generation with respect to this already. National portability will be allowed through this scheme, and if one is from Haryana and falls sick in Mumbai, the government of Haryana will cover the expenses. There will also be measures for fraud control and risk management. Public sector strengthening will continue to be a high priority. Let us build trust amongst stakeholders, and agree on a code of values and self-regulation".

In his special address, Jeremy England, Head of Regional Delegation- India, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, International Committee of the Red Cross, said, "We are born of providing emergency healthcare to those who need it. It was started by a businessman. An emergency healthcare provider is needed here because how can we address emergency provision when there is no structure of a basic primary healthcare. We've come to congratulate the government of India for implementing this plan of the provision of a universal healthcare. We learned that accessibility is as important as the quality and continuity of services. Given the size and diversity of the country, there will be a need for flexibility in the scheme to adapt to that. We look forward to supporting the initiative and learning from it".

The Chief Guest, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, said, "I welcome all the healthcare stakeholders to this event. I hope for the success of this initiative. The Ayushman Bharat event is to raise awareness among the public and I am thankful for that. God has given us this body, and even though the body is mortal, the soul is immortal, but we still need to take care of the body. The Indian populace must stay healthy as per this mission, and we will strive to achieve that, and show the world how it can be done".

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