Hyderabad: The Chief Minister, N Kiran Kumar Reddy, today underscored the need to make quality healthcare affordable to the people. He said the technological advancement should help quality medicare available to the poor and needy people.
Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy recalled the statement of US President, Mr Obama, a couple of days ago about the Americans going to India for affordable healthcare and said, “it is good that at last people from countries like the USA and the UK are coming to India for affordable treatment.” He was speaking as the chief guest at the Conference on “Transforming Healthcare with Information Technology (IT)” and International Congress on Patient Safety at HICC, Hyderabad.
The Chief Minister said that Hyderabad has emerged as the Health and Medical Capital of the country with maximum number of Super Multi-specialty hospitals. Hyderabad is also the pharma capital of the country with the highest number of pharmaceutical companies and bulk drug manufacturers. “It is a well known fact that the Governments across the globe are grappling with a range of healthcare challenges like affordability, quality of care, equity of access, patient safety, rural-urban, rural-tribal divide, demand-supply gap of skilled work force, etc. and our State is no exception”, he said.
Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy said that with the advent of IT and IT Enabled Services, Healthcare is undergoing tremendous transformation. He said that ICT applications extend across the spectrum of healthcare from diagnosis and treatment to monitoring and evaluation. IT influence is growing by the day and there is amazing impact of Tele-Medicine and Tele-Surgery, etc. “In order to address the current and emerging challenges, in Andhra Pradesh, we have chalked out a comprehensive and integrated strategy to provide affordable, equitable and quality healthcare to all citizens that include harmonious blend of public and private sectors. Our objective is to harness the advances in the IT sector to accelerate the transformation process in the health sector”, he said.
The Chief Minister said the State government is modernizing the ICT infrastructure of all hospitals and health centres in the State from primary health centres to the advanced super-speciality hospitals. He said the widely popular Arogyasri scheme has made extensive use of IT applications. “Recently we have introduced IT applications for real time monitoring of the supply and utilisation of medicines and equipment in all hospitals and health centers across the State.
The Chief Minister explained about the Unique Arogyasri scheme launched in the State for providing quality healthcare and surgeries in the Government and private multi-super specialty hospitals free to the poorest of the poor and low income people. He said so far 9,92,000 operations were conducted free for the people under Arogyasri scheme and we are going to touch the one million mark soon.
The government has so far spent Rs 2,800 crores towards the Arogyasri scheme which was started three years ago. Our objective is to see that poor people get free quality healthcare. We are also trying our best to increase the share of Government hospitals from the present 22% to 40% in Arogyasri scheme. The Chief Minister also explained the fool-proof online process in treatment being provided to the patients. He also said that his government was trying to bring down the cost of drugs through generic medicines by making it available in all medical shops. He also briefly mentioned about the 108 free emergency ambulance services and 104 fixed day health clinic scheme where 40,000 and 30,000 calls are being received on an average everyday.
The Chief Minister hoped that the detailed sessions on ICT enabled innovation in Healthcare delivery, successfully implementing healthcare IT, Role of ICT in Healthcare etc. by the experts and specialists will deliberate on Transforming Rural Health in India by IT and their deliberations will throw further light on the use of ICT in healthcare and would provide more suggestions on how to ensure better quality healthcare to the poor and the needy.
He lauded the services of Padma Vibhushan Pratap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals, in taking quality healthcare and medical services to the doorsteps of the people. He said Dr Pratap C Reddy made not only the State but the country proud through his yeomen services. (NSS)