~ Through the web of doubt it is evident that Ayushman Bharat can be a game changer. The challenges however are enormous ~
Goa Khabar:The ambitious Ayushman Bharat – the National Health Protection Scheme – under the aegis of the Prime Minister Jan Arogya Yogana (PM-JAY) has been at the center of conversations in healthcare circles since its launch some months ago. Goa Institute of Management (GIM) organized a debate where thought leaders representing Government, Industry and Academia discussed and deliberated on the nuances of the Ayushman Bharat programme.
Speaking at the event said the Chief Guest Shri Vishwajit P. Rane, Hon’ble Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Goa, said “While Goa is successfully implementing the DDSSY programme, Ayushman Bharat is a revolutionary progaramme in many ways. In addition to the many benefits the programme will also lead to the creation of excellent health infrastructure.”
Goa will be adding to its healthcare infrastructure under the PMSSY scheme he added, “We are in the process of creating a super specialty hospital at a cost of 480 crores and a cancer specialty centre all under the PMSSY programme. We look towards GIM to offer us researched suggestions, solutions and guidance.”
Explaining the paradoxes that exist in the country’s healthcare landscape, Indu Bhushan, CEO, Ayushman Bharat said, “India has invested in the healthcare sector for the last 70 years yet the needs of 70% of the population is met by the private sector. Similarly, while there have been significant efforts to elevate poverty, close to 6 crore people are driven into poverty each year due to healthcare expenses. While India is one of the fastest growing economy, yet govt spend is low. Ayushman Bharat will address these paradoxes.”
“The ambitious program aims to offer access to affordable healthcare to the people who need it the most while also offering financial protection from high expenses on healthcare. The programme will also generate employment and create healthcare infrastructure including hospitals in tier 2 and tier 3 cities” he explained further.
Dr. Ajit Parulekar, Director Goa Institute of Management said “Ayushman Bharat is a much debated subject within healthcare circles today which has thrown up many questions. What are the planned metrics? How can it instill confidence in the poor? What’s Its impact on pricing and products? All this and more is being debated here today. This conference is aligned to GIM’s bjective of being a management thought-promoter and providing a platform for meaningful discussions in the healthcare domain.”
Speakers and Panelists include Indu Bhushan, CEO, Ayushman Bharat; Sujatha Rao, Former Union Health Secretary; Ashutosh Raghuvanshi, CEO, Narayana Health; Joy Chakraborty, COO, P.D. Hinduja Hospital; A. Vaidheesh, V.P. South Asia and M.D., GSK; Ashish Kohli, V.P., One Ethicon Surgical Businesses, J&J Medical India; Punit Kohli, M.D., Fresenius Medical Care India Pvt. Ltd and Sakthivel Selveraj, Senior Health Economist, PHFI.
One of the key announcements in the national budget, 2018 of the Government of India was the launch of Ayushman Bharat – the National Health Protection Scheme, through which government aims to provide health coverage to over 500 million people, many of who are unable to afford secondary and tertiary care services. The scheme which lays out a grand plan for the population has caught the attention of the general public, industry and healthcare professionals and thought leaders.
The conference is one of the several initiatives undertaken by GIM to celebrate its completion of 25 years of imparting knowledge to the country’s future corporate leaders.
PANEL DISCUSSION – 1
Topic: Are healthcare providers aligned with Ayushman Bharat scheme to render Universal Health Coverage?
Moderator – Sakthivel Selveraj, Director-Health Economics, Financing & Policy, PHFI
- Sujatha Rao, Former Union Health Secretary
- Indu Bhushan, CEO, Ayushman Bharat
- Ashutosh Raghuvanshi, CEO, Narayana Health
- Joy Chakraborty, COO, P.D. Hinduja Hospital
- Vaidheesh, V.P. South Asia and M.D., GSK
The panelists discussed several points, including sufficiency of healthcare infrastructure, pricing pressure effect on pricing of healthcare services, financial impact on hospitals and doctors, quality, safety and how to prevent malpractices. The providers’ concern on how good quality healthcare can be sustained at the price being fixed under Ayushman Bharat and how technology enabled healthcare can be a solution to most of the implementation issues were discussed. Audience questions related to quality, sustainability were aptly answered by the Panelist. The panel concluded that while Ayushman Bharat definitely is a right step towards universal health coverage, a lot of details including concerns of various stakeholders needs to be taken into consideration for its expected outcomes.
PANEL DISCUSSION – 2
Topic: Is healthcare product industry adaptable to the changing healthcare market due to Ayushman Bharat?
Moderator – Ajit Parulekar, Director, Goa Institute of Management
- Ashish Kohli, V.P., One Ethicon Surgical Businesses, J&J Medical India
- Punit Kohli, M.D., Fresenius Medical Care India Pvt. Ltd.
- Sakthivel Selveraj, Senior Health Economist, PHFI
The post lunch panel discussion was on ‘Is healthcare product industry adaptable to the changing healthcare market due to Ayushman Bharat?’. This was moderated by Dr. Ajit Parulekar, Director, Goa Institute of Management and Mr. Ashish Kohli, V.P. at Ethicon, J&J Medicals India, Mr. Punit Kohli, M.D. of Fresenius Medical care and Dr. Sakthivel Selvaraj, Director Economics at PHFI participated as panellists. The panel expressed the interest of healthcare product industry in Ayushman Bharat and their commitment to make it a big success. The panel also unveiled the concerns of industry which largely includes price control regulations, scaling to cater to volume and quality of products. They discussed and debated on key points such as anticipated change in demand of healthcare products, pricing pressure, the need to adapt business models, impact on quality of healthcare products and structural changes that may be required.
Both panel discussion were highly enlightening and panelists’ perspectives cleared a lot of doubts in the minds of the people. The invigorating discussions and deliberations left audience asking for more.