New Delhi: Global consultancy firm PwC has said the Indian government’s flagship programme ‘Ayushman Bharat’ will result in a tectonic shift in the healthcare industry, encouraging efficiency and innovation in the sector.
The national health protection scheme aims to cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (about 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
“One of the tectonic shifts in Indian healthcare has been the launch of ‘Ayushman Bharat’, which addresses both pillars of universal healthcare coverage – the role of primary care and financial access,” said the PwC report on Financing and Funding Indian Healthcare: Navigating the Turbulent Tide.
Traditionally, it said, the public and private sectors have not worked together. International experience shows that the most efficient public healthcare systems use private capital and expertise to induce efficiency and innovation.
‘The scheme gives a fresh impetus for both to work together towards achieving the nation’s goal of achieving universal healthcare,” it said.
The ‘New Indian Healthcare Ecosystem’, it added, will redefine the healthcare delivery and products space with low-cost hospitals, specialty clinics, medical devices — which cost a fraction of imported devices, mobile technologies, which address primary healthcare needs and quality healthcare which is affordable.
The report further noted that a host of factors – ranging from price control to regulatory overreach and safety of the caregivers in hospitals – have threatened to derail the robust growth of the sector.
The report makes a case for increasing transparency, improving hospital and patient connect, and dispelling the negative perception of the industry.
“With the aim of balancing the need for returns for investors and affordability for patients, there is a need for hospitals to look at their cost structure and work on operational efficiency programmes,” it said.
Also, the government needs to use this opportunity to create a robust regulatory framework keeping in mind the interest of all stakeholders.